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More Accountability Needed for New School Funds

According to the New York Sun, less of NYC’s new school funding than previously thought will be governed by Gov. Spitzer’s new accountability plan.  Originally, approximately $700 million in new state funds were to be incorporated into New York City’s Contract of Excellence. The report, expected to be submitted for approval on July 15, should specify how the city intends to spend its funding within strict parameters set by the New York Department of Education to ensure the neediest schools receive the additional resources.

Yet, New York City has found of way of being accountable for only $317 of the new funds. The rest of the funding appears to be going towards charter schools and experimental programs, budget items that are exempt from the Contract for Excellence reporting requirements through loopholes in state legislation.

Michael Rebell, Executive Director of the Campaign for Educational Equity, and the lawyer behind the fiscal equity lawsuit that brought the additional funds to New York City, disapproves with the city’s decision to use these loopholes.  "Why should money going to charter schools be less accountable than money going to public schools?" he said.

The NYC Department of Education intends to release its Contracts for Excellence on July 5th and plans to hold public meetings the following week to discuss the plans.

This article is based on a news article that appeared in the July 3, 2007 edition of the New York Sun.

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