Thursday, June 24, 2021

Letter to Chancellor to ensure there’s meaningful public input in spending of C4E state funds, as legally required

See the letter we sent to the DOE Chancellor Meisha Porter, written with the Education Law Center, about the need to hold prompt hearings to gain input from parents and others on how the C4E funding will be spent next year. This public input is legally required and is especially critical now, given that our schools are finally getting full C4E funding of about $530 million next year, increasing to $1.3 billion over three years. 

 In past years, these mandated hearings were held too late after these funds had already be allocated and largely spent, and whatever public input was provided had no discernible impact on the DOE's plans for these funds.  

As we also point out in the letter, the DOE must also document and post on its website a summary of the substance of the oral and written comments provided by parents and other stakeholders at these hearings, and describe either what changes were made to the district’s spending plan as a result, or explain why these changes were not made. This is legally required and has not been done by DOE in many years, to our knowledge.  

We also urge the Chancellor to ONLY spend these funds on the evidence-based programs specified in the law, and to ensure that these funds do NOT supplant city funding,  as is legally prohibited. 

Finally, an independent audit must be commissioned and presented to the Board of Education (otherwise known as the Panel for Educational Policy) showing how these funds were spent.

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