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Unfair funding

New York Teacher

It’s time for the Department of Education’s Fair Student Funding formula to live up to its name and provide New York City public schools with the resources to help all children succeed. The per-pupil funding formula that has determined the majority of school funding for the past 15 years is flawed.

The existing formula — conceived by the Bloomberg administration — does not allocate sufficient resources for the groups it identifies as needing additional support. It ties funding to individual students but that metric doesn’t capture the whole reality of what a school needs to function or the particular needs of each school.

A formula that properly funds schools would boost support to schools serving large numbers of students from low-income communities and allocate more dollars for students learning English, those in special education and those in temporary housing or foster care.

A truly fair formula would also increase the baseline funding for all schools, so every school would have discretion to hire the additional support staff it deems necessary.

The de Blasio administration recognized that the Fair Student Funding formula fell short. Mayor Bill de Blasio convened a task force to identify permanent fixes and, in the meantime, provided additional funding streams to help make up the difference for schools. Unfortunately, the task force’s recommendations were never implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eric Adams has declined to implement any of the previous task force’s recommendations for fixing the formula. He is now using this flawed formula to falsely claim the city is fully funding schools.

The Adams administration, which is flush with state and federal education aid, knows the Fair Student Funding formula falls short. The schools chancellor in July announced yet another task force to address the formula’s inequities.

The children of New York City deserve better. They deserve schools that are actually funded fully and fairly.

Related Topics: Education Funding