ERIC Number: ED503729
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr-13
Reference Count: N/A
Adequate Facilities for All: Reforming New York State's System for Providing Building Aid to School Districts and for Meeting Schools' Urgent Capital Needs. Part II. [Sound Basic Education Task Force Proposal]
Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc.
In recent years, court mandates in education adequacy cases have resulted in substantial increases in state-level support for local building needs in a number of states. The Court of Appeals' decision in "CFE v. State of New York" has made clear that extensive facilities deficiencies in New York City constitute a major constitutional violation that requires prompt corrective action. This report proposes reforms to New York State's current system for providing building aid and calls for the establishment of a new "Building Requires Immediate Capital for Kids" (BRICKS) construction fund for New York City to compensate for past state funding inequities and, over a five-year period, remedy the specific constitutional violations identified by the Court of Appeals (i.e., extensive overcrowding, unacceptably large class sizes, and the lack of sufficient laboratories, libraries, auditoriums, and computers). Proposed reforms include: (1) Update and Simplify the Maximum Cost Allowance to account for current construction costs, class sizes, special education supports and other ancillary services and implement a regional cost index to reflect cost differences around the state; (2) Eliminate Wicks Law Requirements which require multiple construction contracts for public projects; (3) Replace "Select-Aid" and the "10% Incentive" with a 5-Year Wealth Aid Ratio to average property valuations, applied prospectively and not to projects already in the pipeline; (4) Create a New Needs-Based Building Aid Ratio to consider additional facility needs of districts with large numbers of students from poverty backgrounds; (5) Partially Restore Pay-As-You Go Reimbursement, with a five-year reimbursement schedule, to enable districts to upgrade school facilities in a more timely and cost-efficient manner; (6) Reform Lease Aid to support long-term leases for their full term, and automate/streamline administrative processing of lease approvals and payments; and (7) Modify Statutory Bonding Restrictions on Urban School Districts to repeal additional statutory restrictions on excluding building aid receipts from debt limit computations, which are especially onerous for small city school districts. Listings of Sound Basic Education Task Force Members and Expert Consultants are appended. (Contains 67 footnotes, 1 figure and 3 tables.) [Title varies: "Adequate Facilities for All: A Proposal for Building Aid Reform." For parts I and III of this report, see ED503731 and ED503732.]
Descriptors: State Aid, Educational Finance, Educational Facilities, School Districts, Urban Schools, Finance Reform, Court Litigation, School Funds
Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc. 110 William Street Suite 2602, New York, NY 10038. Tel: 212-867-8455; Fax: 212-867-8460; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.cfequity.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: New York