2006_03_patakiwave.jpgOh Governor Pataki, you can only screw New York City so much thanks to the State Appeals Court. As if his budget shortchanging the city wasn't bad enough, Pataki didn't comply with a previous court order to increase spending in city schools. Perhaps yesterday's decision by the Appellate Division will actually convince Pataki that it's time to pay up. It's the 2nd time that a court has said that New York State owes New York City at least $4.7 billion for its schools. The monies owed could be as high as $5.63 billion. But what's a few billion to Pataki. Maybe he can come and visit some schools and go over the math with the kids he's hosing.

The decision on the original lawsuit dates to 2003 when the Campaign for Fiscal Equity brought suit against the state, claiming that school funding levels violated the state's Constitution. Pataki made no indication as to whether he would appeal the latest court ruling.

City schools aren't the only winners in the court decision. The court also required additional spending of $9.17 billion on buildings and other facilities. The school funding and the additional spending must be completed "in the next few years." Of course, getting any changes into an already slow budget process will be very difficult. Especially since the deadline to pass the state's budget is April 1st.