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Advocates Say Buffalo to Benefit from Funding Reforms

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Education advocates say a recent court decision affecting New York City schools will have state-wide implications. The Alliance for Quality Education held a forum on UB's South Campus Thursday night to talk about proposed reforms to the way New York distributes its education aid.

The Court of Appeal ruled every student is entitled to a "meaningful high school education." And while the court said New York City schools are under-funded, Alliance Director Regina Eaton said the same argument can be made in Buffalo.

"The state has the ultimate obligation for educating our kids," Eaton said. "If a locality doesn't have enough resources to do that, then the state has to step in. And Buffalo is clearly a locality that doesn't have enough money to fully fund their schools."

Governor Pataki has created a commission to come up with recommendations on changing the state's education aid formula. Eaton said the panel's report isn't due until next March, well after Governor Pataki has issued his proposed budget for the coming year. And like others, she's also critical of the commission's make-up.