Wednesday, February 16, 2022

CEC 15 Resolution on Foundation Aid and Charter Funding FY 2023

See below -- a resolution passed by CEC District 15 last night on charter school funding that should be a model for other Community and Citywide Education Councils (CCECs) , Community Groups and Advocacy organizations to pass. It is an adaptation of an earlier one passed by CEC District 22.  The pdf version complete with citations and footnotes is here.  

 It shows how unfairly charter funding will eat into the planned increase in funding for our public schools, if the Governor's budget proposal is adopted.   It also shows how NYC schools have been unfairly deprived of over $2 billion in transitional aid meant to make up for the loss of funding going to charters in their districts -- with NYC the ONLY district in the state that is barred from receiving this funding.

Other CECs should pass similar resolutions and send them to Governor Hochul and their state legislators.

Approved  on February 15, 2022, the  following resolution  offers CEC  15’s  position regarding
Foundation Aid and Charter School Funding in the Governor's proposed state budget for FY 23.

Resolution on Foundation Aid and Charter Funding FY 2023

Whereas, in April 2021, the New York State Legislature and Governor committed to fully phasing-in
the Foundation Aid formula owed to NYS school districts by FY 2024 as a consequence of an almost
three-decades-long campaign for equitably funded public education by students, parents, advocates,
activists, organizations and elected officials1;

Whereas, in October 2021, Governor Hochul settled the case of New Yorkers for Students' Educational
Rights v. New York State, further promising this aid2;

Whereas for FY 2023, an additional $345 million in Foundation Aid will go to NYC Public schools,
but New York City is obligated to increase aid to charter schools by $200 million. This means 57%
of the total state aid increase will go to charter schools;

Whereas, from 2019- 2021, New York City’s public schools have received an average increase in this
state aid of $471 per student, while New York City’s charter schools have received an average
increase of $2,325 per student;

Whereas, in New York City, public schools enroll 1,033,669 students, while charter schools enroll
145,000 students - just 14% of all NYC students3;

Whereas, 14% of students receiving 57% of the total aid increase is an imbalance;

Whereas, State law mandates that local school districts pay tuition, based on a per pupil formula
established by the State, to charter schools in their districts;

Whereas, the tuition for charter schools in NYC for the school year 2021-22 will be $16,844, not
including facilities funds;

Whereas, payments to charter schools are already diverting more than $2 billion annually from nyc
public schools, not including facilities funds4;

Whereas, State law mandates New York City pay rent for Charter schools sited in private facilities,
making New York City the only school district in the state and the nation with this financial
burden, costing more than an additional $100 million per year with the amount rising fast 5;

Whereas, the New York City school district is the only district in the state that is excluded from
state Transitional Aid6, which helps local school districts offset the costs of charter schools.
Consequently, NYC has lost more than $2 billion in state aid since the 2012-2013 school year;

Whereas, charter schools  across the country have taken advantage of Covid-19 Paycheck Protection
Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans to acquire bailout aid, including NYC charter schools,
who received approximately $1.12 million per school7;

Whereas, 10 charter schools are currently located in District 15, enrolling approximately 3,600 or
12% of the 30,000 students in District 15;

Whereas, unlike other city school districts in the state, District 15 is not compensated through
Transition Aid for the $60 million in per pupil tuition lost to charter schools; and

Whereas, Community Education Council District 15 is committed to advocating for equitably and
sufficiently funded public schools for the children of the district and beyond.

Therefore be it resolved, that CEC 15 urges Governor Hochul and the State Legislature to take
action in the 2022-2023 budget to ensure that the majority of the school aid increase is allocated
to public schools serving the majority of students, including the 86% of students in traditional
public schools; and that the Foundation Aid awarded to our district public schools as a result of
the CFE case is not eaten up by increased payments to charter schools; and be it Resolved, that the state provide greater supplemental tuition payments to school districts
impacted by charters; and be it

Resolved, that the charter school tuition formula is revised to prevent adverse impacts on public
schools; and be it

Resolved, that the State eliminates the requirement of NYC to pay rent for the charter school or
provide space; and be it further

Resolved, that State law makes New York City eligible for Transitional Aid that other districts
receive, as well as retroactively compensate NYC for the funding lost over the last ten years; and
be it

Resolved, that the New York State Legislature not raise the statutory limit on the number of
charter schools permitted in NYC, because any increase in the number of charter schools would
further divert funding from our district public schools.

This Resolution was approved  at a CEC15  Calendar Meeting held on February 15, 2022 by a vote  of  members  present   including:  Camille   Casaretti,  Antonia  Ferraro,   Tia  Schellstede,
Nana-Poku Agyekum, Ivan Banda, Nancy Randall, and Joseph Alexander.

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