State aid boosts NYC school funding
Anna Lucente Sterling
NYC public schools to receive full funding this fall
New York City public schools will be given a massive boost in their budget thanks to the influx of state education aid, the mayor announced Monday.
For the first time, every school is expected to receive 100% of the money they're entitled to under the city's funding formula.
The city has been pushing the state for more than a decade to provide what it calls “fair student funding” for high-need schools.
“For years and years we all saw an injustice in this city that some schools got more money each year consistently than other schools and it perpetuated divisions that were unacceptable,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at his daily press briefing.
The $600 million annual investment will impact 1,164 schools that currently do not receive 100% of their funding. Those schools serve more than 700,000 students, according to officials.
This new influx of cash is the result of federal aid and tax increases included in the state's recently enacted budget.
“Now, because of extraordinary actions that have been taken by the federal level and the state level, we finally have the opportunity to right this wrong,” the mayor said.
The funding will go toward supporting multilingual students and children with disabilities. It will also allow principals to make financial decisions for their schools, including hiring staff and purchasing supplies.
“Providing every school with 100% of their fair student funding allocation is something that's never been done before and will give even more support to our school communities,” Chancellor Meisha Porter said at the mayor's briefing.
The cash assistance also allows schools to retain veteran teachers, reduce class sizes, hire social workers and paraprofessionals and conduct school trips.
"I was a teacher and I worked in an underfunded school during the Bloomberg years and I can tell you decisions were made based upon the realities of a budget rather than the needs of our kids," City Council Member Mark Trayger said. "If you listen to any principal, they'll tell you how big of a deal fair student funding is."