FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND SPEAKER QUINN URGE NEW YORKERS TO JOIN THEM IN THE FIGHT FOR NEW YORK CITY'S FAIR SHARE OF EDUCATION CAPITAL AID DURING WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, March 12, 2006, during which he was joined by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
(Mayor Bloomberg) "Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg."
(Speaker Quinn) "And this is Christine Quinn, the Speaker of the New York City Council."
(Mayor Bloomberg) "I've asked Christine to join me today, because we agree that the time is now - right now - for all New Yorkers to work together for the good of our city's public schoolchildren.
"Over the past four years, we've come a long way in improving our schools. And students across the city have really responded, making record-breaking advances in math and reading test scores. But now, our ability to build on those historic gains is hanging in the balance, jeopardized by the failure of State leaders to meet their responsibility to our children.
"We need to reduce classroom overcrowding, and expand and modernize school facilities across the city. That's why together, the Council and I have launched a five-year, $13 billion education capital program. Half of the funds to carry out these badly needed projects are coming from the City, but the other half has to come from the State. We're now in Year Two of this plan. And while the City has committed to a record increase in school construction funding, so far the State has failed to come up with a penny of capital money for the City's schools."
(Speaker Quinn) "Because of that continued State inaction, there are dozens and dozens of school projects now in jeopardy of being postponed indefinitely. In the current fiscal year alone, the lack of State funds has forced the City to put on hold - against our will - the construction of 21 new school buildings with 15,000 new seats, nearly 40 new science labs, 15 new libraries, almost 60 new athletic fields and more than 40 new art facilities. There's still time to get these projects moving again - if State leaders take immediate action to end the short-changing of City schools. It's a matter of simple fairness."
(Mayor Bloomberg) "You're right, Christine. When it comes to school funding, we're not asking State leaders for any special favors, just fairness. Each year, New York City sends Albany $11 billion more in tax money than the City gets back in the form of State funding for essential services. And this year, the Governor's proposed State budget not only fails to provide City schools with capital money; it also includes more than a half-billion dollars in new State education aid - none of which will come to New York City."
(Speaker Quinn) "Enough is enough. The Legislature is expected to approve New York State's budget in the coming weeks. It's time to make all our voices heard. Call the Citizen Services Hotline at 3-1-1 to find out how to contact the Governor and your state legislators. Let them know that it's time for them to do the right thing for the schoolchildren of New York City, and fund the State's share of the City's capital education plan."
(Mayor Bloomberg) "This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg."
(Speaker Quinn) "And this is Council Speaker Christine Quinn."
(Mayor Bloomberg) "Thanks for joining me today, Christine. And thank you all for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958