Published: January 6, 2005
Since the 2000-01 school year, New York has suspended the use of its percentage-equalizing school finance formula used to distribute the majority of unrestricted state aid to districts. Districts now simply receive a percentage increase over the previous year’s allotment. For the 2004-05 school year, districts receive a 1.75 percent increase in funding over the previous year. The state has also continued several other appropriations. For example, additional money is provided to districts based on pupil-transportation costs, capital-construction activity, and services for students with disabilities, among other purposes. New York provides additional state aid to districts through 30 categorical programs, totaling $960 million in fiscal 2004. Those programs provide extra support for literacy and reading initiatives, class-size reduction, professional development, bilingual education, early-childhood education, and technology. New York state’s school finance system was ruled unconstitutional in 2003, in Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) v. State. Since then, several adequacy studies have been conducted, with varying results. In December, the state’s highest court accepted a report from a three-member referee panel that found an additional $5.6 billion must be spent on schoolchildren in New York City each year to meet constitutional guarantees for education.
Vol. 24, Issue 17, Page 70