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City spends enough $$$ on public schools: Rudy

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Giuliani's reaction came less than a week after a Manhattan judge ruled in favor of a Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit that charged the state's method of funding education with shortchanging New York City. The CFE, a nonprofit parent and advocacy group, filed the lawsuit in 1993.

Deep within the 191-page ruling, Manhattan Judge Leland DeGrasse said the state Legislature could compel the city to increase its own education spending to rectify the difference between what the city spends on education and what is spent on students in other parts of the state.

During the trial the state contended that the city's own education spending had declined over the last several years and that any spending gap was partially created by inefficiencies at the city Board of Education.

The mayor said Monday "the court held that the state has historically given an unequal and unfair amount of education aid to the city. Any proposal to remedy this inequity by requiring the city to give more money would only make this inequity worse and turn Judge DeGrasse's decision on its head."

Giuliani said other big cities in the state get more than 60 percent of their education funding from the state, while New York City receives 44 percent from the state.

The city's education spending has also increased during Giuliani's administration, the mayor contended, at higher levels than the state's. The city's spending has jumped 42 percent, he said, while the state's funding increased by 37 percent during that time from 1994 to now.

The CFE ruling came about two days after the mayor delivered his eighth and final State of the City address in which he outlined a number of education reforms for the city.

Those plans included suggestions to extend school in the city to weekend classes, using $31.5 million to add "classroom libraries" throughout the city, and expanding summer school to include 50,000 more students.

Among the proposals outlined by Giuliani on Jan. 8 were Project Science, a $25 million weekend program aimed at helping students in science, and Project Read, a $9 million effort to provide intense English classes for bilingual students.

In the final year of the Giuliani administration, he said, the School Construction Authority would accelerate its schedule and start building 12 new schools, all but one of which were expected to be in Queens.

Other projects offered by the mayor during his State of the City address included:

* converting the city's 114 schools with coal-burning furnaces to gas or electric by September 2001.

* creating three new Second Opportunity Schools, one in Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn to serve students with behavioral problems.

* the formation of in-school suspension centers to handle 45,000 students during the school year.

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