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March 29, 2018
Here’s the education lawsuit that helped motivate Cynthia Nixon’s run for governor
The following is a quick history of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity that Chalkbeat put together in 2016, along with some more recent information.
funding fight continues
October 3, 2016
Have supporters of a lawsuit demanding billions in school funds finally found their moment?
The fight continues to increase school funds under the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit.
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.
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.
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.
May 28, 2013
Mayoral debate on education grows contentious before it starts
At a forum hosted by ParentVoicesNY earlier this month, organizers left a seat open for Christine Quinn, who did not attend. Quinn is also not attending a debate hosted today by New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, a group that opposes the Bloomberg administration's school policies. Christine Quinn won't attend today's education forum organized by a group that opposes the Bloomberg administration's school policies, but Anthony Weiner and an advocacy group that backs Bloomberg's policies will. The lineup for the debate that New Yorkers for Great Public Schools will host at New York University today changed several times over the weekend, with tweaks announced in a frenzied series of press releases. "In Quinn's absence, Weiner and other candidates will be able to rebut her public positions on key education issues," the group said in a press advisory this morning. The advisory appeared to confirm the expectation that Quinn, who received a chilly reception at a New Yorkers for Great Public Schools event last year, would not have an easy time if she did participate in today's debate.
August 24, 2012
Union endorses a candidate backed by StudentsFirstNY
It didn't take long for the complexities of New York State politics to make strange bedfellows out of two rival education advocacy groups. This week, New York State United Teachers endorsed Jeff Klein, a Democratic state Senator from the Bronx with a reputation for rebuffing teachers union interests. Earlier this summer, Klein also took in money from StudentsFirstNY, a group that a union-backed coalition is attacking for its board members' Republican ties. Over the past week, accepting money from StudentsFirstNY has received a lot of scrutiny from the coalition, called New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, which is made up of labor unions and community-based organizations. At protests, it has tacitly warned elected officials to reject StudentsFirstNY because some of its funding comes from people working in the private sector with ideologically different positions on education policy. And while most of their energy will be focused on the 2013 mayoral candidates, the coalition punctuated its point this week when it gleefully released a list of state and city politicians who agreed to reject contributions from StudentsFirstNY. "Taking StudentsFirst money is bad for New York," Billy Easton, executive director of Alliance for Quality Education, one of the groups that gets funding from the state teachers union, said last week.
June 8, 2011
Tectonic shift as Campaign for Fiscal Equity exits New York
The Campaign for Fiscal Equity, the advocacy organization whose historic, years-long lawsuit brought increased funding to the New York City schools, is closing its doors — at least in its current format, The New York Times reported this afternoon. The organization's last employee, Executive Director Helaine Doran, will leave at the end of the month because the group has run out of funding, the Times reports. The development comes despite the fact that the dollars won by the group's lawsuit have fallen far short of what was promised in a settlement between the group and the state in 2007. The Times is right to describe the development as part of a greater shift in the way that philanthropists think about education advocacy, one that has made groups like former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee's Students First active in New York City while the Campaign for Fiscal Equity struggled. The old mantra was that urban districts failed because they have been historically under-funded; now, advocates are more likely to argue that funding is necessary but not sufficient. (Another budget watchdog, the Educational Priorities Panel, dissolved in 2007, also due to a loss of funding.) But it's also possible that the dissolution of CFE could actually signal a renaissance of its original efforts: litigation aimed at forcing New York to spend more on needy school districts.
July 22, 2010
De Blasio: City fails to engage parents on school siting issues
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, speaking today on the steps of the Department of Education When two courts halted the city's plans to close 19 public schools this year, judges ruled that the city didn't follow state law that requires it to engage parents and report the impact that the changes will have on students' educations. Now Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is arguing that the city is making the same mistakes when it decides to place multiple schools in the same buildings. In a report released today, de Blasio charges that the city did not give parents enough information about how changes to space usage would affect instructional programs or about public hearings on the changes. "They're just doing the minimum amount of parent outreach so they can say they did," de Blasio said today. De Blasio's office and the Alliance for Quality Education surveyed nearly 875 parents at 34 schools, about half of those that the city proposed moving into new, shared space last year. (Roughly half of public schools citywide currently share building space with other schools.)
June 11, 2009
Parent activists feel "sucked down a vortex" on mayoral control
Here’s a good barometer of the mood this morning among parent activists who were fighting mayoral control, via an e-mail I just got from one…
March 31, 2009
A call for Washington to thwart New York budget over ed dollars
On the eve of what looks like an imminent vote by legislators to approve a state budget, two education advocates are asking Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to consider halting the process immediately. Their concern: That the current budget does not give enough of the stimulus dollars to needy districts like New York City. The budget erases two years of planned increases in funds to New York City and other needy school districts, postponing them to the future. In a letter sent to Duncan yesterday, the groups, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity and the Alliance for Quality Education, also criticize the way the budget spreads out the state's pot of federal education stimulus dollars, a $2.5 billion total, between the state's school districts. The call for Duncan's intervention hinges on language in the stimulus law passed by Congress, which urges states to prioritize "equity and adequacy adjustments" passed in state laws when doling out their stimulus dollars to schools. The groups argue that New York's budget "appears to be in violation" of that language.
November 25, 2008
Campaign for Fiscal Equity's advice to Paterson: raise revenues
Lots of state education funding news today. First, Governor Paterson removed his proposal to enact mid-year cuts. From a letter he sent to school leaders today: While school aid reductions remain on the table, it is unlikely the Legislature will consider them any time soon. Therefore, we would be well into the final quarter of our fiscal year and even further into the school year before any action would likely occur. So mid-year is off the table, but Paterson says that means cuts next year will have to be much worse; the state simply cannot afford to ramp up school spending as it had been doing, he wrote. The Campaign for Fiscal Equity has already pushed out a response to this letter. The group, which led the 14-year-long lawsuit asking for more funding for New York City schools, asks Paterson to find ways to raise revenues before cutting budgets. One idea is to raise income taxes on wealthy New Yorkers. The full letter is below the jump, and for a review of all planned budget cuts, see my cheat sheet here.
October 10, 2008
Weingarten, civic leaders join fight for fairness in budget cuts
UFT President Randi Weingarten at today's rally “We must even in tough times invest in our city, invest in our most vulnerable,…
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