Monday, July 24, 2006

Private "U"s and Public Schools

While I teach in a trailer, while my building is ready to burst from dusk to dawn, we're providing enormous subsidies for private universities in New York City. What's Mayor Bloomberg had to say about that? Nothing whatsoever.

This document, Fatal Subtraction, suggests NYC lost as much as 7.3 billion dollars last year in uncollected property taxes from private universities.

How much in taxes do you suppose we get for the Chrysler Building? Well, let's see, that must be a chunk of change. It is, actually, since NYC taxpayers have been going without a dime on it since 1931. I'm pretty sure my little 3-bedroom house supports public education more than the Chrysler Building, and I don't mind admitting we have far fewer bathrooms.

Actually, Cooper Union is entitled to charge taxes on that building, and keep the proceeds.

NYC hugely subsidizes Cooper Union, NYU, and Colombia University, among others, while CUNY students struggle to make tuition. A large percentage of students attending private universities aren't even residents. Why NYC taxpayers need to supplement their education, while their own kids are squeezed into odd spaces like sardines, is a mystery to me.

It's unconscionable that this happens while the CFE lawsuit, which would provide good teachers, smaller classes, and decent facilities for NYC kids, languishes is legal limbo, after being endorsed by NY State's Supreme Court.

Check out the report for much more detail.

Thanks to Norm and
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