DOE Hearings & suggested talking points on their 2022-2023 C4E plan

Because of our continued advocacy and the support of the Commissioner, the NY State Education Department is now requiring that NYC hold its CEC and Borough public hearings on their Contract for Excellence spending plan for next year in May and June of this year – rather than dragging these hearings into the fall and winter, long after these funds have already been spent.  In years past, that’s what’s happened, making a mockery of the public input required by the law.  

The DOE is required to prepare a public comment summary and provide it to the state, explaining why they have or have not incorporated public feedback into their final plan. These hearings also provide an important opportunity for parents and teachers to express their fervent opposition to the huge budget cuts just proposed for their schools.

If you’d like to figure out how much your school may be cut, instructions are here.

You can check out the schedule for your CEC and borough hearings here; there are two more scheduled for June 9 and June 15.  I hope as many parents as possible attend and ask some hard questions and make some tough points.  Comments can also be submitted by sending e-mails to – no deadline has yet been posted but the DOE has said at previous hearings it will be July 5.

The plan is not online but I received it from some CEC members and I have uploaded it here.  It says nothing about a the new state bill, and has not a penny centrally allocated towards smaller classes.  It also has some information about the plan for the spending the additional federal stimulus funds. 


Here are some suggested talking points and questions for these hearings: 

Why is the DOE planning on cutting school budgets by $215M, despite the fact that the city has billions of dollars in reserve, an expected surplus of over $1B next year, nearly $5B in unspent federal stimulus funds meant to improve our schools, and will be receiving an additional $1.3B from the state in Foundation Aid?  How can you justify these cuts, which will increase class sizes and cause the loss of critical services to kids, who need them more than ever before given the disruptions of the pandemic?

Why is DOE planning to increase class size  at all, given that the State Legislature less than two weeks ago passed S09460/ A10498,  by a vote of 147 to  2 in the Assembly and 59 to 4 in the State Senate, which requires DOE to be lowering class size in all grades starting next fall?  Isn’t the DOE openly defying the intent of the Legislature by making these cuts?

As in the past, DOE hasn’t targeted a single penny specifically for  smaller classes in its C4E plan, but instead,  will cut school budgets by $215M, which will cause a loss of about 1500 teaching positions and cause class sizes to increase.  Why are you making these cuts, when NYC students need smaller classes now more than ever before.

The DOE is also proposing to cut new capacity in the capital plan by $1.5B, including cutting over 11,000 new school seats compared to the adopted plan.  Yet at the same time, the DOE is claiming there is not enough space to lower class size.  Why cut new school construction, especially at this time?

Because of the fall in enrollment and the new federal and state funding, the DOE now has a special opportunity to lower class sizes to the levels called for in the new law, since average class sizes  are near the caps in the law already.   Yet  for some reason, the Mayor and the DOE appear are intent on moving backwards, and increasing class size, which would make it more difficult and expensive to lower class size in the future. Why?

Our schools are receiving more than $1.3 billion dollars in additional state funds as the result of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, in which the state’s highest court said that class sizes in NYC schools were too large to provide  our students of their constitutional right to a sound, basic education. And despite that decision, DOE has failed to lower class size, even though a new bill was just passed by the Legislature requiring this.  Why?

Is DOE unaware that class size reduction is one of only a handful of reforms proven to provide real equity by narrowing the achievement/opportunity gap between racial and economic groups?  Smaller classes have been shown to result in higher test scores, better grades, more engaged students, and fewer disciplinary referrals – especially for those students who need help the most.

The DOE is holding C4E hearings earlier this year, because that the state has posted a calendar mandating this schedule.   But will the DOE also comply with the regulations that require a summary of public comments be posted online before the plan’s submission to the state, no later than July 8, including an explanation of which suggestions from parents and other community members were  accepted and which were not, and why?

Will the DOE also post the proposed plan, along with any revisions, within 48 hours of its submission to the state?  This is also required by the regulations as well as a SED summary.  And why has the DOE failed to comply with this legal requirement too in past years? 

Finally, has the final C4E spending plan for the current school year  (2021-2022)  been approved by the state?  If so, when will you post this plan publicly? If not, why the delay?


Categories Testimonies & Comments, Uncategorized, Updates | Tags: , | Posted on May 23, 2022

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