Rarely does a judge show the lack of perspective and judicial discretion that has just been displayed by the jurist who barred Gov. Cuomo from denying the city $250 million in school funding.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez obviously hasn’t a clue as to state and city budgets, the interplay between Albany and City Hall, or education outlays and policy. As for the law, with those blind spots, it doesn’t matter.
Fairness and the standards of wise leadership say that Cuomo should send the money to the Department of Education. But what a governor ought to do and what a judge can compel a governor to do are vastly different things. Mendez doesn’t know the difference.
Ah yes - the courts have no power to force the governor to comply with state law or previous court decisions, like the 1995 decision that said students have a state constitutional right to a “sound, basic education” and ordered Albany to increase aid to NYC schools.
Since Albany never actually complied in full with the 1995 ruling, as Bruce Baker points out here, students are not getting the "sound, basic education" that law requires.
The Daily News neo-liberals argue that DOE spending is up 34% since 2002, going from $15,811 per pupil to $21,137 per pupil, but they never say how much of that spending actually reaches the classroom.
Since Michael Bloomberg took over sole control of the NYC school system, he has added layer upon layer of bureaucracy to the system, wasted billions on outside consultants (many of who are robbing the city blind) and increasingly thrown money into technology boondoggles that cost hundreds of millions of dollars and yet never seem to give schools the bandwidth they actually need.
Given the chronic underfunding of the system by the state and the money Bloomberg wastes on bureaucracy, consultants and technology boondoggles, it is fair to say that the $250 million in lost aid does hurt students and the governor should not be able to tie state aid to schools to contractual matters like teacher evaluation systems.
The Daily News, of course, just wants an odious teacher evaluation system imposed, and so they don't particularly care how the governor goes about doing that - even if it means breaking the law and hurting children in the process.
That's what the rule of law is all about for neo-liberals.
They only like it when it can be used to bludgeon the peons.
When it can be used to hold the people in power accountable, then not so much.