Posts Tagged ‘School Funding’

6th November
2008

First Published in the Riverdale Review, November 6, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

Residents of a certain age may remember the administration of the late Mayor Abraham D. Beame. Abe Beame was an accountant, who worked as Budget Director under Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr., before being tapped to run for Comptroller as Wagner’s running mate during his last term.

In 1965, Beame won a hard fought primary battle and won the nomination to become the Democratic candidate for mayor against Republican John V. Lindsay. He lost.

(more…)

1st November
2008

First Published on the Public Advocate’s Corner October 29, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

Shortly after I began writing a regular column for The New York Sun six-and-a-half years ago, the mayor was given control of the New York City public schools. During that period I have written around two hundred columns on the schools, most of which discuss various aspects of mayoral control.

I am by nature a skeptical fellow, and the story of the educational “reform” that has taken place since then has given me much to be skeptical about. Unfortunately, last month the Sun published its final issue, so now is as good a time as any to reflect on this remarkable story that I have followed since the beginning.

(more…)

30th May
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, May 30, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

The specific issue in New York City’s public schools that has caused the most recent brouhaha is how much we spend on teaching our students. In this dust-up, all parties manage to come out on the wrong side.

Expenditures for education already have risen to more than $20 billion a year from $12.5 billion six years ago, without any objective indicator that would suggest that we are on the path to success.

(more…)

23rd May
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, May 23, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

“We’re lawmakers, not education experts,” City Council Speaker Quinn declared in a breakfast speech Tuesday. She proceeded to wring her hands over cuts of $191 million to the schools. If she really wants to be mayor, better she should be asking how the administration squandered the $8 billion added to the budget these past six years, even as the system serves 60,000 fewer students, and why the results are so lackluster.

When the Board of Estimate was struck down by the courts in the 1980s, the resulting charter allowed for increased powers for the City Council to provide a counter-balance to the vast influence enjoyed by the mayor. The charter has made the Council Speaker the second most influential person in the city government and term limits make her an automatic candidate for mayor.

(more…)

11th April
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, April 11, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

In the midst of the state financial crisis, the governor and legislature still found funds in the budget to increase education spending across the state by a record $1.75 billion dollars. School spending has long been at the center of a key public policy debate, one that was “resolved” by a settlement of the long standing Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit.

That lawsuit began as an effort to create a uniform funding formula that would insure that New York City schoolchildren would get a “fair” share of total state spending. It morphed into debate as to just how much public spending it takes to provide a quality education.

(more…)

11th May
2007

First Published by The New York Sun, May 11, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

The chancellor’s announcement on Monday of the implementation of the mayor’s Fair School Funding initiative sounded wonderful — on the surface. Chancellor Klein declared, “Our new Fair Student Funding formula will help us level the financial playing field, making sure that all schools receive what they need to educate their students, so all schools can be held to the same high standards.”

In reality, this plan will come back to haunt Mr. Bloomberg, the next mayor, and the taxpayers. Recent history tells us that it is unlikely that students will benefit from more funds and that some may suffer from what looks a lot like income redistribution. (more…)

20th October
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, October 20, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

When he is not busy measuring the windows in the governor’s residence for new drapes, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is calculating just how deep into New York City taxpayers’ pockets he can reach to help fund a “settlement” of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. Barring the miracle of the Court of Appeals rejecting the premise on which litigation such as this is based, New Yorkers can expect this to be costly. There is, however, another choice.

If one figures at $5 billion annually, it is likely that Mr. Spitzer will insist that the city pick up somewhere between 30% and 40% of the tab. According to published reports, he is likely to tie the CFE issue to the mayor’s continued control of the city’s public schools. This has become the “holy grail” to Mayor Bloomberg.The state doesn’t have this money, particularly if we accept Mr. Spitzer’s word that he won’t raise taxes. (more…)

1st September
2006

First Published in The New York Sun,  September 1, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Special education is one of those areas of education that has been particularly vexing to those running school systems, here and throughout the nation. How do you provide educational services to the increasing number of children who have been found to have disabilities of many types, these services mandated by law, affirmed by the courts, and protected not only by advocacy groups but by parents protecting their own children? And how do you achieve this without bankrupting the system?

This topic has been studied, restudied, picked apart by all sorts of experts. Educators, psychologists, medical doctors, social workers, journalists and, regretfully, lawyers and judges have all weighed in, producing enough articles, studies, reports, recommendations, and legal documents to fill a library. Yet there is still no consensus on how best to provide these mandated services within a reasonable budget. (more…)

28th July
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, July 28, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Two weeks ago, the United States Department of Education released a study that cut to the core of conservative and liberal education orthodoxy. Released on a Friday, so as to be consigned to Saturday coverage, the report demonstrates that there is little, if any gap between student performance at public and private schools.

Private and religious schools do perform better than public schools. But when adjusted by breaking out the performance of children of similar racial and economic backgrounds, the advantage evaporates. (more…)

9th December
2002

First Published in The New York Sun, December 9, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

Today’s scheduled groundbreaking for the new Bronx Preparatory Charter School will reflect the hope — and the problems — facing the charter school movement in New York.

Operating in space leased from the Catholic Church, Bronx Prep demonstrated impressive results in its first two years. But to fulfill its mandate to provide a quality middle and high school education, Bronx Prep needs a new building, the space in which to make dreams into reality. (more…)

Previous