What the education panel’s rejection of NYC’s funding formula means for schools
What began Wednesday night as a routine vote by the city’s Panel For Educational Policy ended with concern among principals, union officials, and even the schools chancellor about the potential delay of school budgets and plans for the upcoming school year.
The panel, a mostly appointed board that makes decisions on major contracts and policies, rejected an annual request from the city to approve its 15-year-old school funding formula, which sends more money to schools that are struggling academically, as well as those with higher shares of students with disabilities and English language learners.
The formula accounts for about $10 billion in funding and makes up 65% of a school’s budget, most of which goes toward hiring staff, and the vote could delay school leaders’ ability to build classes for their students next year, said Lindsey Oates, the department’s chief financial officer. Though city officials said they are “committed” to reviewing the formula, Chancellor David Banks called the vote “deeply disappointing.”
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