Tuesday, April 06, 2021

PK-12 FUNDING DOES VERY WELL IN STATE BUDGET; Updated with Statement from Arthur Schwartz

This is from City and State on the state budget:

Public education 

Democratic lawmakers scored a big victory over Cuomo after getting $1.4 billion in school funding into the Education, Labor, Housing, and Family Assistance budget bill introduced this morning. Additional details for education funding will likely fall into other bills that have yet to be unveiled. State lawmakers have also rejected his proposed consolidation of expense-based aids and attempts to replace state aid with federal stimulus money. Higher education has been tougher for lawmakers, with a proposed New Deal for CUNY likely out of the the budget though the final version of the spending plan will not have tuition increases at SUNY and CUNY campuses. 

The Alliance for Quality Education put this out: 


This morning, New York State at last made a commitment to fully fund public schools in the state budget. a plan that will ensure schools receive ALL the Foundation Aid that it owes them over the next three years, and to continue funding them thereafter. 

This is great news but some questions remain as decades of experience with the DOE lead me to be to see clouds in every silver lining: 

How will certain administrators cry poverty when the almost 30 year fight for fiscal equity is finally in the state spending plan?  

What excuse is there going to be not to fully fund each school in September? 

Will this state money go directly to the classrooms oorcan principals divert it or can the central DOE siphon off the money?  

I hope there will be major strings attached like fulfilling the promise from 2006 for lowe class sizes.

Long time activist attorney now City Council candidate Arthur Schwartz reacts to funding increase:

Today, the State Assembly and Senate forced Governor Cuomo to agree to blockbuster deal that will funnel $4.2 billion in additional aid to public schools across New York state over three years to comply with a  court ruling which has been ignored for 15 years.

In the Campaign for Fiscal Equity ruling, the Court of Appeals in 2006 found that Albany’s underfunding of New York City’s public schools denied Big Apple students a “sound, basic education.” That is the minimal level of education required under the State Constitution. One of the biggest barriers to a good education in New York has always been a lack of funds: for classrooms, teachers and school resources. And throughout his 11 years as Governor, Cuomo has stood in the way. But this year he was forced to back down.

Under the budget bill passed this morning, $4.2 billion will be funneled to schools statewide over three years, or $1.4 billion per year, to abide by the CFE case.

The money would be distributed under a progressive “foundation aid” formula aimed at steering more funds to New York City and other poorer school districts.

There is nothing more critical to the future of this City than school funding. As a lawyer who litigates to enforce people's rights and to defend the rights of children to a good education (see https://dianeravitch.net/2021/04/04/arthur-schwartz-the-lawyer-who-beat-success-academy-charter-chain-in-court) it has been astounding to me how Andrew Cuomo has stood in the way for so long.

A good education, along with affordable housing and universal healthcare are the three key pillars to achieving income equality, and addressing the underpinning of racism and sex discrimination. It can end the debate about rationing out educational opportunity in our City. As a NYC public school graduate, and as a parent I know that there is nothing more important for our children.

Congratulations to some key players in this fight, especially the Alliance for Quality Education and Class Size Matters, and my friends, Assembly members Harvey Epstein and Senators Robert Jackson (the original plaintiff in the CFE case)

And I am proud to say that I have earned the endorsement of Kids PAC, the leading public school parents advocacy group in the City.

 - Arthur Schwartz


Anonymous said...

Funding for what? to throw more money down the tubes? I guess 34 billion a year isn't enough. More money will make more students show up, care, put their phones away, take their hats off, stop cursing us...LOL.

Anonymous said...

Did arbitration open yet?
Schools are open, right?
And opening further, right?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that class sizes will finally be reduced? My guess is no.

Anonymous said...

A major issue with full school funding come September will be how students are no longer in the system. Some reports indicate a 10% drop. That would indicate less money that would be rewarded for school hirings—and result in excessing/expanding ATR reserve.

Anonymous said...

More funding for highly paid consultants, more funding for administrators at central, more funding for more and more endless PD, more funding for legal. You get the idea. None of this money will be for the benefit of kids.

"Kids last, always."
DOE moto

Anonymous said...

More funding.

There will be a free for all among the DOE bureaucrats for these dollars..

Anonymous said...

4:55: Are you kidding, fewer kids in the system, means just fewer teachers are needed. More money in the system will never go towards smaller class sizes. I expect to see a lot of excessing come June due to the drop in enrollment. Welcome to the miserable world of the ATR.