NYC Council Votes To Approve Resolutions on Fair Student Funding
The NYC Council Education Committee assembled on December 10 to vote on three proposed resolutions related to Fair Student Funding (FSF), each sponsored by Council Member Mark Treyger, the chair of the committee. CSA submitted Memorandums of Support for the resolutions, which were ultimately merged into a single resolution and approved 16-1.
The first resolution calls upon the DOE to submit a single report each year that includes all school-level budget allocations, the calculated FSF formula for each school, and the percentage of the FSF formula that each school is actually allocated.
The second resolution calls on the mayor to establish a task force to review the FSF formula. This task force would include the chancellor, the speaker of the council, at least one representative from CSA and the UFT, at least one representative from a community district education council from each borough, at least one parent, as well as community advocates for vulnerable student populations. The goal of the task force would be to consult with relevant parties and make recommendations on how to improve the formula.
The third resolution calls on the DOE to factor in poverty as a weight in the FSF formula for schools beginning at fourth grade or later. The FSF formula is currently calculated on the basis of student needs, comprised of three factors: grade weight, determined by each student’s grade level, portfolio weight, based on students who face significant graduation challenges, and need weight, based on a student’s English language proficiency, special education needs, and academic intervention needs. For schools beginning before fourth grade, these academic intervention needs are currently defined by poverty weight, based on free lunch eligibility as determined by family income. For schools beginning at fourth grade or later, academic intervention needs are currently defined by test score data, and this resolution calls for the DOE to take into account poverty weight for these schools as well. CSA’s Memorandum of Support noted that taking poverty weight into account is most important in non-Title 1 schools as low-income students attending these schools do not otherwise benefit from the supplemental resources that may be need to address their needs.