Tue, Jun 17, 2008
CFE Analysis of NYC Contract for Excellence May 30th Projected Allocations for SY2008-09
CFE analysis finds that NYCDOE proposed allocating only 59 percent to the neediest schools in its May 30th preliminary SY2008-09 Contract for Excellence plan.
The Act provided for $2.35 billion in new foundation aid based on need subject to the Contract for NYC in increasing increments over four years. NYC was also required to add $2.2 billion of its own dollars over the four year period.
This year, the 2008-2009 state budget provided NYC with $622 million in new foundation aid. State law allows NYC to deduct 3% for inflation ($166,226,074 in 2008) and charter school tuition costs ($70 million in 2008.). This means that NYC must develop a Contract with the State and the public covering $386 million. Of this, roughly 75% or $289.3 million must be spent to predominately serve the neediest students and schools.
NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE) is required to put their proposed Contract out for public comment, and provide specific information on how all these monies are allocated to schools and programs. The current proposal violates these rules, and provides only a partial look at the investments. This analysis is based on the NYCDOE proposal that provides information on only $231 million in school allocations. According to NYC DOEâ€™s own numbers, they once again appear to violate the 75/50 rule by allocating 41% of these hard-won dollars to low need higher performing schools. Further, NYCDOE has held back $63 million for purposes of â€śsupplantingâ€ť, or filling the holes of their own budget cuts, thereby undermining the fundamental purpose of CFE in adding new dollars to close the achievement gap for low performing schools and students. The remaining dollars are allocated to a variety of purposes, general in description, some of which are inconsistent with the Contract law and regulations.
The Regulations of the Commissioner also specify that â€śFor school districts in cities with a population of one hundred twenty-five thousand or more, at least 75 percent of the contract amount shall be distributed to benefit students having the greatest educational needs who are enrolled in the top 50 percent of schools within the district ranked in order of greatest to least relative incidence, as measured against total school enrollment, of poverty, disability, limited English proficiency and low school performance; provide that all schools within the district that are in improvement status shall received at least their pro rata share of contract funds based on their share of total district need,â€ť the 75/50 rule.
In 2008, NYC is obligated to develop a Contract in the amount of $385,796,487. Of this amount, roughly 75% or $289,347,365 must be directed to the targeted needy population described above. The balance -- $96,449,122 may be spent on students and schools that do not meet the median.
In order to create a meaningful index in reviewing the distribution of the proposed allocations â€“ CFEâ€™s analyses separated the elementary and middle schools which use the ELA and Math assessments as the performance measures from the high schools which use graduation rates. Of the $231,091,326, $173,331,849 should be allocated to high need low performing schools. Performance data is only available on 1,256 schools receiving $211,977,604 in allocations. Thus our analysis covers only those where ELA data or high school graduation rates are available. Of the total, DOE allocated $167,586,670 to 1,056 schools with ELA data--$125,690,002 or 75%, must go to the target schools. The balance -- $41,896,667 may be used to support schools with lower needs. Additionally, $44,509,390 was allocated to high schools with graduation data. $33,382,042 or 75%, must go to the target schools. The balance -- $11,127,347 may be used to support schools with lower needs.
Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
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 stateâ€™s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >