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Report: Schools Lack Funding to Meet Basic State Standards
Posted By Jessica Bakeman On December 10, 2012 @ 1:44 pm In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled
An education advocacy group claimed in two reports Monday that the state is not allocating enough money to schools to provide students with the Constitutional requirement of a “sound basic education.”
In one report, the Campaign for Educational Equity, which is based at Columbia University in New York City, summarized which resources are required for an adequate education, based on state legal precedents. That includes a sufficient number of qualified teachers, principals and other personnel; appropriate class sizes; adequate and accessible school buildings; up-to-date books and supplies; suitable curricula; resources for students with extraordinary needs; and a safe environment.
The second report looked at 33 high-needs schools in eight areas of the state and found that many lacked some of the requirements outlined as necessary by New York’s highest court.
Twelve schools were in New York City, three were in Rochester and the remaining 18 were in small cities, suburban towns and rural areas. The group did not identify which schools or the smaller districts to protect confidentiality. But the schools represent every region of the state, the report said.
“Thousands of students in our sample of high-needs schools throughout the state—and almost certainly hundreds of thousands of students in schools like them—are being taught by inadequately trained and ineffective teachers, are not receiving minimal instruction time in basic subjects, lack access to numerous state-mandated courses, go without necessary books and technology, endure poorly maintained and even unsafe school environments, and fail to receive the extra services and supports that the state statutes and regulations acknowledge that many of them need in order to meet the state’s learning standards,” the report said.
When several advocacy groups rallied in Albany last week asking for more funding, Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded to their criticisms.
“Education funding went up 4 percent this year,” Cuomo said at a cabinet meeting Wednesday. “Four percent is a lot of money. That is a very, very large increase. What else in your life has gone up 4 percent? Most people’s income hasn’t gone up 4 percent; their home value hasn’t gone up 4 percent; their savings account hasn’t gone up 4 percent. That is a significant increase.
“At one point, you can’t get water out of a stone,” he continued.
Last year, Cuomo and the Legislature decided to cap increases in education funding at the rate of personal income growth in New York. The state allocated the maximum, 4 percent, about $800 million, for this year. New York allocates about $20 billion to schools in total.
Thirty-one of the 33 high-needs schools in the study reported that they lacked a sufficient number of certified teachers, leading to larger class sizes and the inability to offer some required courses and electives, according to the study.
In 28 schools, teachers without proper training or certifications were teaching core subject areas, such as English, mathematics, science or social studies.
Only two of the schools in the study had enough teachers with adequate training to follow the state’s learning standards for the arts, health education, library and information skills, physical education, technology, foreign language and other specialty areas. Five schools, including three in New York City, had inadequate resources to teach all of these subjects.
Half of the schools did not have enough personnel to implement the state’s anti-bullying and safety standards.
Smaller schools were more likely to lack resources for meeting minimum requirements.
“Schools are not willfully ignoring state mandates,” according to the report on high-needs schools. “They very simply lack the basic human and material resources necessary to meet them. Most of the schools we studied spent considerable time and great efforts determining how to make the most of their inadequate resources and to stretch them to cover as many students and requirements as they could.”
Campaign for Educational Equity was founded by Michael Rebell in 2005. Rebell, who authored the reports, successfully litigated a 2003 school funding lawsuit. The group that sued the state then is called Campaign for Fiscal Equity.
In that case, the Court of Appeals ruled that New York was not funding schools enough to meet basic requirements. After that decision, the state increased education funding, but began cutting when the economy declined.
Campaign for Fiscal Equity has said recently it is preparing to possibly sue again.
Read the reports here:
CEE Report 1 
Cee Exec Summary 
Article printed from Politics on the Hudson: http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com
URL to article: http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2012/12/10/report-schools-lack-funding-to-meet-basic-state-standards/
URLs in this post:
 CEE Report 1: http://www.scribd.com/doc/116279667/CEE-Report-1
 Cee Exec Summary: http://www.scribd.com/doc/116279930/Cee-Exec-Summary