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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Tue, Jan 11, 2011

CFE’s Comparison of New York City’s Proposed and Approved 2009-10 Contract for Excellence Allocations Shows Re-allocation of Dollars from the Class Size Reduction Program to the Time on Task Program

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The New York State Contract for Excellence was initiated as the accountability component of the legislation resolving the Campaign for Fiscal Equity litigation that was intended to correct the disparities in school funding ordered by the New York Court of Appeals in 2006. In Year 3 the New York City Department of Education (DOE) received $387.5 million intended for expanded programming in the city’s public schools during the 2009-10 school year. This constituted a freeze on funding at the 2008-09 level rather than an increase. DOE was still required to account for the dollars spent under the Contract in 2009-10. This report compares the allocations proposed by DOE in September 2009 with the allocations approved by the State Education Department.

The approved contract re-allocated substantial funding—$21 million—to the Time on Task program. The majority of this funding—$16 million or 77 percent—came from the Class Size Reduction program. The proposed Contract allocated 40 percent to the Reduced Class Size program; the approved contract allocated 35 percent to this program; it remained the largest program.

Within the Time on Task program, the approved Contract focused funding on two strategies—Summer School and Dedicated Instruction. The proposal allocated $59 million or 15 percent of total allocations to these two strategies. Under the approved Contract, $110 million or 28.5 percent was allocated to these strategies. The largest sums were taken from the Reduced Class Size strategy ($14 million) and the Before and After School strategy ($30 million). It appears that summer schools traditionally funded by New York City were funded with Contract dollars at the expense of extended day programs.

The remainder came from the Teacher and Principal Quality and Middle and High School Restructuring programs and from funding not allocated in the proposed plan. The approved plan allocated increased funding to two additional programs—Full Day Pre-Kindergarten and Model Programs for English Language Learners.

Footnote: Data for the approved plan came from the file FY10ApprovedC4ESpendingPlan_ForWeb. Data for the proposed plan came from the file FY10ProposedC4EAllocations_ComprehensiveBySchool. Both files were obtained from DOE’s Web site.

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Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >