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This study highlights the significant downside of the introduction of competitive grants into the New York school finance system. It makes a strong case that these grants have actually been substituted for aid programs, such as the Foundation Formula, which distribute school aid based on student need and district wealth. Key FindingsCompetitive grants create a system of educational winners and losers among students, instead the state should be guaranteeing all students access to high quality programs. Competitive grants are inequitable. Only 19 out of 202 high needs school districts even applied for funding through the competitive grants, whereas 100% of them would receive funding had this money been put through the foundation aid formula. While the competitive grants do prioritize high quality educational programs including academically excellent middle schools, college level courses in high school, career and technical education, and increasing the number of students graduating with Regents Diplomas with Advanced Designation, these exact types of programs have been cut from schools statewide as a result of state budget cuts. Test scores are the single largest factor in awarding competitive grants meaning that when students take tests they are competing with each other for access to high quality educational opportunities. Making schools compete for funding based upon test scores will result in more teaching to the test.
An effective In-School Suspension program for non-violent offences will provide students with tools to succeed academically and socially. However, there are significant educational consequences to high out-of-school suspension rate. Academic research shows that being suspended from school significantly increases the likelihood of subsequent suspension or expulsion.In fact, we see this in our schools where in 2008-09 17,126 suspensions were given to 8,042 students, a fact that indicates that some students were suspended multiple times.
While many New Yorkers of all races enjoy great educational, professional and social success, the majority of people of color in the Empire State remain perilously stranded in the shadows of the American dream. Although both the nation and state are led by accomplished people of color, the overall condition of people of color in New York is distressing, and the current national economic crisis and cuts in government programs only serve to further harm our communities.
This report is entitled New York City's Contract for Excellence: Closing the Funding Gap or a Funding Shell Game? The answer to the question posed by the title of the report is "both." The state's Contracts for Excellence funds are promoting educational equity and closing the funding gap between the highest-poverty and lowest-poverty schools. However, the City's "shell game" is undermining this important progress through supplanting. To remedy the findings of this report it is incumbent on the state Commissioner of Education to make a determination as to whether supplanting of Contract for Excellence funds occurred and to order a restoration of these funds by New York City. Otherwise the additional funding secured as a result of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity is being undermined and student progress cannot be expected to result.
Moving Towards Educational Equity?: How is New York State's School Funding Reform Impacting Educational Equity on Long Island?September 1, 2009
This report identifies the 11 Long Island districts with the most student poverty and compares them with the 11 districts with middle student poverty, and the 11 districts with the least student poverty. In addition to poverty, this report looks at the demographic composition of these districts, and percentage of English language learners. Historically on Long Island, as elsewhere, there has been a large funding gap between school districts with high poverty and those with little poverty. The funding gap, as examined by The Education Trust and others, documents the difference in educational opportunity between school districts. In order to make this calculation it is necessary to both examine expenditures per pupil and student need (as measured by the proportion of student poverty). Policy makers and researchers across the spectrum agree that it generally costs more to provide equivalent educational opportunity to students from poor households as those from middle class or wealthier households. This report factors student poverty into the measurement of the funding gap. The report examines the effectiveness since 2007 of different state school aid categories at closing the funding gap--specifically looking at foundation aid, high tax aid and all state operating aid as a whole. In addition, this report looks at student outcomes according to 8th grade English Language Arts and Math exams, graduation rates, Regents diploma rates, and college enrollment rates in order to evaluate whether there has been progress at closing the achievement gaps since funding reforms were instituted.
This analysis of campaign contribution data presents a portrait of what segments of New York State have the greatest influence over legislative actions in Albany through campaign contributions. Our analysis of campaign contributions to Assembly members and Senators from the 2006 and 2008 election cycles from zip codes throughout New York State found enormous disparities in the contributions coming from different zip codes based on geography, race and ethnicity, and economic status. Specifically, in the 2006 to 2008 period, we found that:Four out of five dollars of the $72 million flowing into campaign coffers in Albany, or $58 million, came from zip codes that are majority white.One third of campaign cash came from wealthy zip codes where a large number of households earned over $200,000, even though such zip codes are just 12% of the state's population.The top ten contributing zip codes were all from New York City and Albany and its suburbs (Latham).
This report examines the impact of the New York State Fiscal Year (FY) 2009-10 Executive Budget on people of color in several major policy areas: education, higher education, health care, human services, and criminal and juvenile justice. (It is therefore a snapshot of a few major policy areas; it does not present a full picture of the Executive Budget.) We looked at key policy and spending proposals in the Executive Budget in order to determine whether there will be an unfair impact on communities of color. In each of the policy areas covered, we document that racial inequities will be continued or compounded, although to different degrees depending on the policy area. The results of our analysis are mixed - we found some proposals that address racial and ethnic disparities and others that increase disparities. But on balance the proposed cuts would have a disproportionately negative impact on communities of color. The proposed budget, if enacted, would increase the racial and ethnic disparities in our state by key economic and social measures.
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