Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The "21st century schools" swimming in cash

In today's Daily News, Meredith Kolodner describes how DOE is further undermining the supposed fairness of its "fair student funding" system by awarding lots of extra cash to its new pet project -- the high-tech "21st century" schools.

These schools are receiving increases of up to 31% of their budgets to hire more teachers and equipment, while other schools, including those with many more "high needs" students, are having to deal with big budget cuts and are laying off teachers and aides. See for example, this report from WNYC, about what layoffs one school in Brooklyn is facing.

As we earlier pointed out on the NYC education list serv , Tweed is hiring lots of extra staff to oversee the expansion of the highly promoted "School of One", which is part of the 21st century school project. In hiring ads, they say they are "looking to add several new team members to support this expansion" -- despite the supposed administrative hiring freeze. Presumably , the salaries of these "team members" are not even counted in the spending spree described in today's paper.

Like charter schools, which are not subject to "fair student funding" and receive lots of hidden subsidies and extra space, as with the new small schools , DOE likes to provide extra support and privileges to certain schools; and then gleefully point out how much better they are doing. Indeed, despite the PR spin, inequities have flourished under this administration.

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