Gov. Andrew Cuomo's property tax cap plan will disproportionately affect minority students by exacerbating funding differences between high- and low-income school districts, according to tax cap opponents who rallied outside Senate chambers Tuesday afternoon.
"The high-need districts have a much higher percentage of African American and Hispanic students," said Billy Easton, the executive director for the Alliance for Quality Education. "So in addition to the income-based inequity, it will also create further inequity based on race."
Easton, backed by parents of schoolchildren and representatives from good government group Citizen Action, the Civil Service Employees Association and New York State United Teachers, said the funding gap between "high needs" and "low needs" schools is currently $3.2 billion.
The group says that discrepancy would increase by $56 million in the first year and by more than $700 million over ten years.
"The tax cap will increase the inequities already existing in the educational system now between the poor and wealthy districts," said the Rev. Cornelius Clark, president of the Troy chapter of the NAACP.
The advocates also railed against the provision in the tax cap bill, which awaits Assembly passage, that would allow a local 60 percent majority vote to override the cap, calling it "undemocratic."