2008-01-10 / Other News

CFE Rep Says Local Schools Need “More Than Fair Share” Of Funds

By Debbie Cohen

CFE Rep Says Local Schools Need "More Than Fair Share" Of FundsBy Debbie Cohen

Helaine Doran, deputy director for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), a group that has worked since 1993 to ensure a sound education for every child in the New York City public school system, told this week's Community Education Council (CEC) 18 meeting that more funds need to be allotted to overcrowded, under funded school districts -- not just the wealthy ones.

She also said that District 18 needs "more than its fair share" of the $3.2 billion in state aid over the next four years, including $710 million for 2008.

Doran said, "We need more money to go to low performing schools, not just good schools or charter schools. Unaccountability is a problem in distributing this $710 million during this year."

CEC 18 President James Dandridge said that charter schools are impacting District 18 schools by taking monies from the public sector.

But Doran reminded Dandridge about the charters within the District 18 school system and that some monies are being allotted to those charters.

"This year will be a transitional period, however; the allotted funds could be spent on school services," Dandridge said.

Brooklyn Council High School Representative Valerie Armstrong Barrows said that the Department of Education's Contract for Excellence is a sincere one.

According to CEC 18 Board Member Derek Booker, the Fiscal Equity Fund was originally only for public schools, but he said that now everyone has their hand in the cookie jar.

"Hopefully, we can all work together and then there will not be failing schools and the monies will be distributed properly," Booker said.

According to a SINI/SRAP (schools in need of improvement and academic progress) report analysis, four of the five District 18 middle schools have the capacity to reduce class size: I.S. 68, I.S. 211, I.S. 232, and I.S. 252.

"We are looking for change in the system," Dandridge said. "More funds are desperately needed for District 18 schools and my hope is to see that increase soon."

Dandridge also said a board vacancy remains due to a recent resignation, and currently applications are being accepted.

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