New York's Children Deserve the Opportunity to Learn
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April 17, 2012

Today, the Schott Foundation for Public Education is releasing a new report, "A Rotting Apple: Education Redlining in New York City," detailing the "unconscion- able and inequitable distribution of resources" in the City's schools. The report also makes 7 key recommendations to reverse this pattern and ensure opportunity for all children.

The report explains that children in low-wealth neighborhoods are systematically denied experienced and better educated teachers, opportunities for gifted and talented programs, and the curriculum needed to get into the City's best high schools. High teacher turnover in their schools also denies them the important benefits of a stable teaching staff.

The disturbing inequities documented in the Education Redlining report reflect the reality that lawmakers in Albany and policymakers in New York City continue to resist making the decisions and the investments necessary to deliver the Opportunity to Learn as a fundamental feature of the state and city public education systems. In fact, despite clear documentation of basic resources that are both essential to education and have been missing for years, Albany has not honored its promises to fund the schools and provide these key resources.

After a landmark ruling from New York's highest court in 2006, in Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) v. State, the legislature enacted a new state school funding system in 2007 and promised to phase in funding in four years. After the first two years of progress, however, the State froze Foundation Aid for a year and then cut a total of $2.7 billion in the 2010 and 2011 budgets.

This year, ELC (Education Law Center) urged New York State to honor its CFE promise. For the first time in three years, the State increased its Foundation Aid to school districts. But, it remains far behind its constitutional duty, as articulated in the CFE decisions. The high-poverty small city school districts of New York State reflect similar resource inequities in their litigation, Hussein v. State of New York, currently before the state's highest court.

"It's high time that New York State honored its constitution and the CFE rulings to provide the opportunity to obtain a "sound basic education" to all of its children," said David Sciarra, Executive Director of Education Law Center. "Without strong and equitable opportunities in the nation's largest school district, our nation as a whole will lag behind our global competitors."

Education Justice Press Contact:
Molly A. Hunter, Esq.
Director, Education Justice
voice: 973 624-1815 x19

Copyright © 2012 Education Law Center. All Rights Reserved.