THE FUTURE OF SCHOOL FINANCE REFORM IN NEW YORK STATE

GERARD JOSEPH DUFFY, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to analyze the political dynamics involved in legislating education funding reform in New York so that the stakeholders in the outcome may discover what is likely to happen in the latter part of the 1980's.^ Procedures. The study sought to answer these questions: (1) What are positions of educational interests in the reform campaign in New York? (2) Will state political scene witness increasing competition and fragmentation of the educational establishment's effort, or is coalition-formation possible?^ The case study method was used in this descriptive study, with analysis of documents, roll calls, hearings, and interview responses. Twenty-seven, or thirteen percent, of the members of the legislature were interviewed, along with representatives from four interest groups, the state judiciary, Governor's and Commissioner's office, Board of Regents, and the Office of Federal and State Relations.^ Findings. The study found the interest groups exerting the most influence to be the New York State United Teachers and the New York State School Boards Association, and found them to be part of a potential coalition, offering the possibility that the reform campaign will move from increasingly competitive and fragmentary to coalitional.^ Suburban interests were found to be the chief obstacle to reform, with wealthier districts opposed to any significant redistribution of resouces, or any attempt to limit their spending.^ Conclusions and Recommendations. The study found that the potential for coalition formation exists. The bill with the most potential would be a "leveling up" measure which would retain the basic formula, but alter it by significantly increasing the state's ceiling, bringing up poorer districts while not preventing wealthier ones from exercising their options to spend generously for education.^ However, the 1 to 2 billion dollars in state funds which this is estimated to cost precludes passage any time soon in view of the fiscal climate and the power of the political leadership in the Senate. Short term prospects are for incremental reforms, short of wholesale restructuring of the system, passed annually during the next several years, with steady increases in state aid funded by the income tax. ^

Subject Area

Educational administration

Recommended Citation

DUFFY, GERARD JOSEPH, "THE FUTURE OF SCHOOL FINANCE REFORM IN NEW YORK STATE" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8508113.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8508113

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