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Alliance for Quality Education
March 14, 2016
Senate proposes $1.6 billion increase in education funding
The Senate’s budget proposal calls for a $1.6 billion increase in education funding, including more than $27 million in additional aid to charter schools.
rally rinse repeat
March 3, 2016
At morning ‘walk-ins,’ advocates press Cuomo for more school funding
Advocates took to the streets Thursday to continue a years-long fight for what they say the state owes city schools: $2.9 billion.
February 19, 2015
New database estimates how much schools are missing from equity settlement
Advocates for school funding equity have launched a new website to show families and the public exactly how much money their school or district is due but not receiving each year under a years-old legal settlement whose terms have yet to be fulfilled.
November 14, 2014
Sidestepping cap issue, independent charters to push for facilities funding
Next Tuesday, charter-school advocates will call for the state to provide facilities funding for existing schools, setting the stage for one piece of the sector’s upcoming fight for more favorable legislation.
Where's the data?
September 29, 2014
City Council prods city to provide data on guidance counselors
When councilmembers asked how many high school students the city has -- so that they could calculate the ratio on their own -- the education officials, including Lois Herrera, head of the Office of Guidance and School Counseling, faltered. “It’s not something we’re calculating on a regular basis,” Herrera said.
August 7, 2014
Advocacy groups continue calling for billions from Fiscal Equity settlement
As a number of education lawsuits fight for headlines, a new report is trying to call attention back to one suit advocates already won.
Leadership & Management
March 12, 2014
Boisterous student crowd brings school funding petitions to Cuomo’s doorstep
ALBANY — Hundreds of students and advocates seeking more school funding in the state budget rallied outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, then demanded that he…
March 3, 2014
Advocates' "fact-finding" tour uncovers inequities as budget talks heat up
The Alliance for Quality Education's recent tour of 14 cash-strapped districts turned up spending choices that the group said supported its call for $1.9 billion in increased state school aid this year.
October 13, 2013
IBO report: Advanced course offerings are distributed unevenly
Poor students and students of color in New York City are able to take fewer advanced courses on average, according to a new report…
July 2, 2013
In report, AQE cites progress in Albany — and room for growth
Parents supporting the Alliance for Quality Education gathered in Manhattan to watch the livestream of the press conference in Albany discussing the group's report card. The state should be applauded for its recent investments in prekindergarten and community schools, according to an Alliance for Quality Education report released today. But the lobbying group said New York still has a lot of work to do when it comes to issues such as expanded learning time, reducing school suspensions, and offering high-quality training for teachers. In a "college and career readiness report card," AQE also dinged the state for not reducing the per-pupil funding gap between wealthy and poor school districts, a pet issue for the lobbying group, which frequently partners with the state teachers union. "Unless there is a substantial change in education policy, these negatives will keep being negatives," said AQE Executive Director Billy Easton.
April 17, 2012
In report, advocates paint grim picture of city school inequities
Critics of school closures were not the only ones taking aim at the Bloomberg administration's education policies today. A Massachusetts-based education foundation declared that the city's schools systematically shortchange poor students and students of color. Those students, who make up the vast majority of city enrollment, are less likely to attend top-performing schools as a result of educational "redlining," according to a report released today by the Schott Foundation. The foundation gives grants to education advocacy groups across the country, including New York's Alliance for Quality Education, a lobbying group formed to help win extra funds for city schools through the successful Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. The term "redlining," coined in the 1960s, refers to the practice of discriminating against people in certain neighborhoods or of certain races when deciding who should receive loans or other services. Writes New York University professor Pedro Noguera in a foreword, While the term “redlining” might seem strong given that it implies a deliberate attempt to deny certain communities access to educational opportunities, this report will show that evidence of blatant disparities amount to Apartheid-like separations that have been accepted in New York for far too long. Rather than being angered by the language used, my hope is that readers of this report will be outraged by the fact that education in New York City is more likely to reproduce and reinforce existing patterns of inequality than to serve as a pathway to opportunity. Using a methodology it has applied to other cities and research questions, the foundation assigned each of the city's 32 school districts an "Opportunity to Learn Index" based on how likely it is that middle school students in the district attend schools in the top quarter citywide. It found that students in districts with many black and Hispanic students had a lower chance of attending top-performing schools.
March 7, 2012
Students bring anti-turnaround message to PEP members
Wassem Albakka, a sophomore from Grady High School, tapes a poster of PEP member Linda Bryant to a fence near her Upper East Side office building. When student protesters came knocking on the front door of Eduardo Martí's office building this afternoon, the mayoral appointee to the Panel for Education Policy wasn't there. The same was true when they tried the offices of fellow appointees Linda Bryant and Judy Bergtraum. But the band of eight students, all from high schools the city has put up for closure, still used chants, drumming, and "wanted" posters with the panelists faces on them to leave them a message: that they should not vote to close their schools. A City University of New York official blocked the students from entering Martí's office on East 80th Street shortly before 3 p.m. But a receptionist listened patiently by phone as Diana Rodriguez, a senior at Grover Cleveland High School, read off a list of "crimes he is wanted for": "One, violation of civil rights: He approved 23 school closing affecting 10,000 students. He approved countless policies that have resulted in only 13 percent of Black and Latino students graduating ready for college," she said. "Two, breach of the public trust: He rubber stamped all of Mayor Bloomberg's proposals, against the will of parents, students and communities. Three, conflict of interest: He received funds from the mayor's administration while holding public office."
February 28, 2012
For opponents of mayoral control, fight starts with co-locations
District 3 CEC member Noah Gotbaum and Sonya Hampton, a parent from P.S./M.S. 149 and vocal charter school critic, lead chants against co-locations at rally. When the Bloomberg Administration threatened to shut down a school in Assemblyman Keith Wright’s district this year, Wright vowed to create legislation to repeal mayoral control of the schools. The city didn't go through with the closure, but Wright is making good on his word — at least to a degree — by introducing a bill that would chip away at one of the mayor's most controversial powers: the ability to install schools inside other schools' buildings. The bill would require elected parent councils known as Community Education Councils to approve any co-location proposal before it may go into effect. Co-location proposals often generate heated debate within districts, particularly when the city is proposing to move a charter school into a district building. The CECs regularly play a vocal role in opposing charter school co-locations within their district schools, but they have no power to stop them or any other co-location. Instead, the Panel for Educational Policy, which has never rejected a city proposal, must approve co-locations. Parents, politicians, advocacy groups and representatives of at least three CECs rallied infront of Department of Education headquarters this morning to show their support for Wright's bill, saying they hope it will pass because the CECs already must vote on zone lines within their districts. Co-locations were the only subject of today's rally; but according to Noah Gotbaum, a member of CEC for District 3, the CECs are hoping the co-location bill will be the first step toward legislation restricting the city's ability to close schools, and eventually leading to the outright end of mayoral control.
January 3, 2012
Advocates try to preempt Cuomo with State of Schools address
Advocates are trying to preempt Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address with a seven-minute "State of the Schools" speech of their own. The Alliance for Quality Education, an advocacy group that Cuomo's office has disparaged in the past, released their address by YouTube video today.
December 6, 2011
Tax code changes could mitigate against school budget cuts
It's not the millionaire's tax that some parents have pushed for, but it's something. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that he would overhaul the state's tax code to reduce the tax rate on middle-income earners and increase taxes on the highest earners. Cuomo estimates that the changes will add $2 billion a year to the state's coffers — funds that can go to schools and other public services. UFT President Michael Mulgrew was among the chorus of people who quickly signaled their support for the proposal. He called the plan "a wide-ranging solution to the state's budget problems" and said it would "help ensure that children in our public schools will begin to see restorations from the devastating education cuts of recent years.” But a separate tax on high earners known as the millionaire's tax, which Cuomo has vowed not to renew when it expires at the end of the month, has generated significantly more, about $4 billion a year. That means the state is still facing a funding shortfall of as much as $1.5 billion, and schools are likely to feel continued budget pressure.
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