Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity
                                                                                             Horace Mann


Albert, a parent and strong believer in education, with his son Gandhi Mandela & spouse Tara: "Our kids-yours and mine, must be nurtured in a strong educational environment."


Albert sharing concerns with teenagers. Many considered education to be one of the most lacking in vision and opportunity.

"Our children are our future!" Baldeo urges. We have to make a better tomorrow for them, but our school system is far behind.

In order for our children to get the best education possible, there must be a sacred trust between our school children and our elected officials, or they would be unworthy of public office. One of the greatest obligations of public office, in fact a constitutional right, is to ensure that our kids receive a sound basic education.

Recently, the Appellate Division Court issued an order requiring the State to resolve the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) lawsuit by April 1. "We hold that the State, in enacting a budget for the fiscal year commencing April 1, 2006, must appropriate the constitutionally required funding for the New York City schools," the Court ruled.

The court clearly affirmed that the operating needs of the New York City schools are at least $4.7 billion and that the capital needs of the City schools are over $9 billion, although it accepted a four-year phase-in in order to meet student need. The court order clearly stated that it is undisputed that the State has failed to appropriate an adequate amount of funding to meet its educational mandate as outlined in CFE II." 

Yet, lo and behold, the recent state budget fails to provide our schools with the necessary resources. It is a major disappointment because it fails to reform state school aid. It does not add billions of dollars in new funding to meet the needs of high needs districts. It fails to include any multi-year plan to phase in the funding increases needed for all of our kids to succeed. It does not comply with the CFE court order that requires the state to add $4.7 to $5.6 billion in increased operating aid for New York City, which can only be construed as a contempt of the court order. It does not offer a statewide solution to the school-funding crisis that would apply the court order to school districts all over the state. Are our state senators above the law, so much so that they refuse to obey a court mandated order?

The Senate Majority adamantly resisted including provisions in the final budget agreement similar to the Assembly budget bill, which would have fundamentally reformed school aid so that it is distributed based on student need. Clearly, this budget in no way addresses the operating aid requirements of the CFE court order, either for New York City or the rest of the state.

Other states have better educational programs in place than ours, although we pay more taxes. We, as parents of kids who reside in New York, may have to relocate and give up our jobs. So let us demand our just share from our political representatives.


Albert Baldeo, Esq.                                                                                                            Community Activist & Parent                                                                                     


  AlbertBaldeo.Com 2005