Alliance for Quality Education

Voters To Decide Fate Of NY School Budgets

May 16, 2016

The fate of New York’s school district budgets is in voter hands tomorrow. Voters will also pick Board of Education representatives.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

What are the odds the kids in your neighborhood will succeed? That’s the question the Siena Research Institute tried to answer in a New York State Life Chances Survey. 

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When John King, New York's top-ranking education official, left his post for a federal position, many New Yorkers breathed a sigh of a relief. That relief is short-lived, now that King is succeeding U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

MaryEllen Elia
Karen DeWitt

Newly appointed State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says her first order of business is to listen to parents, teachers and administrators around New York.

Hundreds of public school students and parents have rallied at the New York state Capitol to urge lawmakers to boost school funding and reject Gov. Andrew Cuomo's education reforms.

Cuomo has suggested $1.1 billion in additional education spending — but only if lawmakers agree to implement tougher tenure rules, teacher evaluations more reliant on student test performance and the authorization of more charter schools.

Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Education funding advocates, including actress Cynthia Nixon, made a last minute pitch for extra money for schools in the state budget. Meanwhile, a new poll finds many New Yorkers think the quality of education in the state is deteriorating.

Karen DeWitt

  The deadline for the state budget is approaching, and education issues are taking center stage. One day before massive rallies for universal pre-K and charter schools, other advocates say they’ve gathered evidence for potentially another lawsuit for more state aid for schools.

The Alliance for Quality Education has been touring schools around the state to document what they say is erosion in districts in economically depressed areas.

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Two education-oriented activist groups have embarked upon a statewide tour of schools to "gather evidence" in preparation to file a new lawsuit against New York. At issue, they say, is the state’s failure to fulfill its constitutional obligation of providing every student with a “sound basic education.”

The Alliance for Quality Education and the Campaign for Fiscal Equity are taking a “fact finding tour,” visiting schools and trying to find "what's missing" at those hallowed halls of learning.

Kat Fisher

A day after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his budget, the Alliance for Quality of Education and Citizen Action of New York held eight rallies across New York Wednesday, including one in Kingston, calling on Albany to increase state funding for education.

The Data Quality Campaign, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that advocates for high-quality data, has released a paper showing how far states have come in developing and using the data.

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A New York state senator says it is time to pass his legislation to restrict standardized testing for the youngest students.

Education advocates across New York are calling for a ban on standardized testing in pre-K through second grade.

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, kicked off a Thursday conference call to launch a  statewide petition drive to stop expansion of standardized tests in children’s early years.

The petition comes as the union continues to call for a three-year moratorium on using tests aligned to the rigorous Common Core standards for “high stakes” decisions affecting teachers and students.

© 2013 The Annie E. Casey Foundation

A new report released Monday says investing in the first eight years of a child's life pays big dividends, and that’s especially true for New York kids 8 and younger who come from low-income families.

Test scores for third through eighth graders were released Wednesday, and they show a dramatic drop in the number of New York students who received passing grades.

Less than one third of students in the third through eighth grades, around 31%, passed the new math and English exams given for the first time this year, says Regents Chancellor Merrill Tisch, making the announcement on a conference call.

“As anticipated, the scores we are announcing today are significantly lower,” Tisch said.

Mark Scheerer

Now that New York’s public schools have sent students – and report cards — home for the summer, New York education reformers have issued the state a "report card" of their own... with two plusses, four minuses and an "incomplete."

Two upstate school districts are planning to file a civil rights complaint this summer  against New York State alleging discrimination in the way state aid is distributed.

WAMC Dave Lucas

Hundreds of parents, teachers and community leaders today urged state lawmakers to address a growing gap in funding levels between rich and poor school districts across the state. The rally for public education was held during the noon hour at the State Capitol in Albany.

New York State ranks fifth in the nation in the gap between rich and poor school districts based on spending per pupil. That's the finding in a new report prepared by school reform advocates who will put on a parade and a rally in Albany today.

Host Alan Chartock is joined by Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education. They discuss the property tax cap and NYSUT’s lawsuit, teacher evaluations, and Governor Cuomo’s approach to education spending.

It is called ‘bullet aid,’ but others have called it ‘school district pork.’ Extra state aid to school districts and libraries doled out by the majority parties that control the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly. The latest bullet aid from State Senate Republicans is going, by and large, to schools and libraries in the districts now held by Republican senators. WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke about bullet aid today with Nikki Jones of the Alliance for Quality Education, a school and education advocacy group in New York.