Great news; with more federal AND state funding, no excuse left for NYC Mayor to deny kids the smaller classes they need!

April 7, 2021

1.Tremendous news!  The state finally came through with the additional foundation aid that our schools were promised years ago as a result of the CFE lawsuit, which will mean more than $600 million for NYC schools next year, increasing to an estimated $1.6 billion annually in three years.

This is in addition to the approximately $6 billion our schools will receive in additional federal aid over the next two years. Now the Mayor and the Chancellor have NO excuse not to do the right thing for NYC kids by lowering their class sizes. Smaller classes will be not only more necessary than ever before for health, safety and emotional support, as I said in this article, but should be absolutely required. This is especially critical, given how the state’s highest court in the CFE case said more funding was needed because NYC students were denied their constitutional right to a sound basic education, as evidenced by the fact that their class sizes were too large.

If you haven’t already, please sign our petition to the Mayor and the City Council, urging them to use $1 billion of these funds to lower class size, and $365 million for more school counselors and social workers, for provide our kids with the health and safety precautions and the academic and emotional support they will need next year more than ever before. Also please let me know if you want us to provide a resolution that your CEC, SLT or PTA could pass, urging the Mayor and the Council to do so.

2. We recently released a new Class Size Matters report,  DoE Overspending On Charter School Facility Costs and Underspending On Matching Funds To Public Schools, that revealed that the NYC Department of Education has overspent by many millions on rent for charter schools, while denying co-located public schools  millions of dollars of their legally-required matching funds for facility upgrades and repairs.  Articles about the lack of matching funds was covered in the Daily News and on WCBS local news; a searchable database where you can check if your school was cheated of funds is posted here.

The report also showed how the DOE has wasted millions on directly leasing buildings for charter schools, meaning the loss of $8 million in state reimbursement in FY 2020 alone; and in FY 2019, overspent by $21 million on lease subsidies for 39 charter schools by paying them more than their base rents. The DOE also provided rental subsidies for eight charter schools whose Charter Management Organization or affiliated organization owns their own space, at a cost of $11.6 million in FY 2020.

For example, we found that the rent for the two Success Academy charter schools housed at Hudson Yards in midtown Manhattan increased from approximately $793,000 to over $3.4 million in one year– more than quadrupling – despite the fact that the space is owned by the Success Charter Management Organization. This increase in rent allowed Success to charge the DOE over $3 million in rental subsidies for those two schools alone in FY 2020.

More about our findings here.

Thanks as ever for your support, Leonie

Categories Newsletters, Updates | Tags: | Posted on April 7, 2021

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