Schools, Teachers Sue Paterson to Stop Aid Cuts

New York's Legislature has refused to cut any school aid midyear.

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009  |  Updated 4:32 PM EDT
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Schools, Teachers Sue Paterson  to Stop Aid Cuts

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The suit challenges Gov. Paterson's authority to unilaterally delay 10 percent of upcoming aid payments to schools and local governments.

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A coalition of teachers, school officials and education advocates have filed a lawsuit against Gov. David Paterson to try and stop him from withholding New York state school aid.

Paterson has ordered that 10 percent of state aid payments to schools and local governments be delayed because the state is $1 billion short of its obligations.

The suit filed Wednesday in state court challenges Paterson's authority to unilaterally delay 10 percent of upcoming aid payments. Paterson says holding back the $750 million is necessary to prevent the state from running out of cash as it grapples with a $3.2 billion deficit.

For New York's 680 school districts, that amounts to about 1.5 percent of their annual state aid. The suit claims the governor is illegally withholding funds allocated by the Legislature and threatening program funding at the midpoint of the midyear point of
the school year.|

A court hearing is expected in January.

Meantime, New York's Legislature has refused to cut any school aid midyear. School officials contended the midyear cut would force layoffs and hurt instruction.

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