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campaign for fiscal equity
And the winner is
February 26, 2019
Jumaane Williams won the special election for NYC public advocate. Here’s where he stands on education issues.
If Williams pursues an education issue, he’ll likely focus on school funding or will push for more diverse schools and faculty.
December 17, 2018
Defiant, Cuomo invites ire resisting more New York State funding for schools
Cuomo directly placed responsibility for funding schools on local districts, saying the money is “not fairly distributed by them.”
September 21, 2018
Charter schools, funding, and the SHSAT: What we’re watching if Democrats flip New York’s Senate
New York education policymaking has been defined by predictable splits between the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Republican-controlled Senate. That could change.
August 29, 2018
New York spends more per student than any other state. A new study suggests it should spend more.
The findings add new evidence to a heated debate about whether the state’s schools are adequately funded.
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.
pros and cons of con con
November 6, 2017
What does your ‘Con Con’ vote mean for education? Here’s what you need to know.
Here’s what you need to know about how a constitutional convention could affect New York state education.
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.
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.
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.
August 28, 2013
Spitzer talks up Albany school funding record on campaign trail
Eliot Spitzer with State Sen. Marty Dilan and supporters outside a Brooklyn school. Correction appended Eliot Spitzer is touting his education record during his time as governor in the race for New York City comptroller, pledging to use the same approach he took in Albany in order to scrutinize the city school system. In what has become a closely watched race, due mainly to Spitzer's late entrance, many aspects of Spitzer's brief tenure as governor have been sharply scrutinized. His opponent in the Democratic primary, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, has focused on a few, including legislative gridlock, a politically charged police surveillance program, and the prostitution scandal that ended with his resignation after just 15 months in office. But an area that Stringer's campaign has stayed mum on so far is Spitzer's record on education, which several funding advocates praised today. Though his time in Albany was short, they said Spitzer fought hard to convince the legislature to fulfill a school funding mandate for poorer districts to the fullest extent as part of a settlement that came out of a lengthy lawsuit called the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. "Governor Eliot Spitzer was a clear champion on CFE," said Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education, which was formed to lobby and organize on behalf of the campaign.
December 5, 2012
Group seeking mandated aid for needy districts heads to Albany
City Councilman Robert Jackson, an original plaintiff in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, joined advocates to renew their push to secure funding from the state for high-need schools. Chancellor Dennis Walcott was not the only one fretting about the city's school funding today. While Walcott was warning about the potential loss of new funds, longtime advocates were preparing to board a bus for Albany to call for the state to settle an old tab.
November 15, 2011
DOE's newest class size data confirms increases across city
Chart showing trends in K-3 class size. From Class Size Matters PowerPoint presentation. (Click to enlarge.) Preliminary class size data that the city released today confirms what the teachers union has tallied: Class sizes are on the rise. Classes grew most this year in kindergarten through third grade, where the average size increased by just under one student since last year to 23.1. On average, classes in those grades are now three students larger than they were in the 2006-2007 school year. They are largest in Queens and Staten Island and smallest in Manhattan. Classes in those grades are now the largest they have been since 1998, according to a PowerPoint presentation prepared by parent activist Leonie Haimson for Class Size Matters, a group that she runs to advocate for smaller classes. Class sizes have also inched up in upper elementary, middle, and high school grades, but not by as much, according to the city's new numbers. In all grades, average class sizes exceed the goals set forth in the 2007 Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit settlement, which required the state to earmark extra funds for New York City schools to use for six different purposes, including reducing class size.
October 12, 2011
Bruised by suit, advocates try persuasion to boost school funds
Panelists discuss a slate of new papers about school funding in New York at Teachers College Tuesday night. Michael Rebell led the Campaign for Fiscal Equity's landmark school finance lawsuit for 13 years, but for a long time the lawyer was conflicted about the case. He believed what he ultimately convinced the courts: that the state had given New York City schools less than their fair share of funding. But he was also persuaded by a counter-argument that he heard during the litigation: that more money wouldn't help schools whose biggest problem was poverty. And the lawsuit itself wasn't helping him reconcile the tension. "We have this adversary system for dealing with legal matters in our courts, where two warring sides take firm and opposite opinions," he said. "The truth is sometimes more complicated than that." Now, months after CFE laid off its last employee and the state trimmed the equity dollars for the second time, Rebell is trying a different approach to advocate for poor students. As the director of the Campaign for Educational Equity, a think tank housed at Columbia University's Teachers College, Rebell is setting out to win not a legal victory but the hearts and minds of policymakers. His first step: To solicit a set of academic papers, released this week and discussed at Teachers College Tuesday night, that make the case for what he calls "comprehensive educational equity." A main point of the papers is, as the CFE lawsuit contended and the New York Times reported earlier this week, that the state should give more to its schools — $4,750 per poor student, to be precise. But they also sketch out a policy platform that Rebell said could help close racial and class achievement gaps.
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.
February 1, 2011
Cuomo suggests cutting city school funds to near-2007 levels
Governor Andrew Cuomo is suggesting that the state cut its contribution to New York City public schools by nearly $600 million from the level that schools received this year. The budget, released today, proposes reducing statewide school spending by $1.5 billion from this year's level. Activists said that would be the largest dollar figure cut to public schools in New York's history. The proposal would bring the state's contribution to city schools close to the level received in 2007. That year ushered in substantial funding increases after a court ordered New York State to reduce historic funding inequities by pouring billions of extra dollars into the New York City schools. Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget for fiscal year 2011, denoted with the asterisk, would reduce the state's spending on New York City public schools to $7.5 billion.
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