Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Small City School Districts Lobby...Exist?

The New York State Association of Small City School Districts has announced that state education funding is heading in the wrong direction, which is why they believe the poorest schools and children are being left behind.
They argue that the inequity is embodied by the fact that two-thirds of STAR funding, which is property tax relief, goes to the wealthiest 1/3 of districts statewide and therefore requires the poorer districts to shoulder more of their education costs.
"Even in the midst of the state's fiscal dilemma the state must find a way to target sufficient additional funding to provide small city students the education they deserve and their tax payers can no longer afford," said Robert E. Biggerstaff,
Executive Director for SCSD.
Here are some facts they want you to know:
Did you know that in connection with the State’s $750 million Race to the Top federal grant and as a result of the Regents sponsored Everson-Koretz Report (Harvard) the Regents are in the process of a massive overhaul of data systems, curriculum, assessments and the teacher/principal evaluation process?
Did you know that in connection with this overhaul the Regents have already raised the cut scores (passing scores) and, because of the large numbers of additional students now qualifying for Academic Intervention Services (AIS (in some cases the number of AIS students in small city schools has doubled) have had to waive the AIS requirements for 2010-11?.
Did you know that no one has estimated the additional cost of this overhaul to local school districts?
Did you know that half of the $750 million RTTT grant goes to the State Education Department?
Did you know that most of the other half will go to BOCES (and not to local school districts) to administer changes in curriculum, assessments and evaluations dictated by new regulations?
Did you know that in order to make the State RTTT application more competitive nationally the State approved 250 additional charter school slots?
Did you know that the stranded costs of these new charter schools will be about $600 million annually (2/3 of approved operating expense per pupil), which will be paid, not by state aid, but by the local school taxpayer in the form of higher property taxes?
Did you know that virtually all of the charter schools currently operating are located in cities?
Did you know that the RTTT one time grant of $750 million, most of which does not go to local school districts, was not such a good deal for the city districts and their taxpayers who will have to pick up the $600 million tab for new charter schools each and every year hereafter?

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