New Yorkers for Students’ Educational Rights, an education advocacy group, is suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Board of Regents and state Education Commissioner John King, claiming the state has systematically shortgaged the public school system by failing failing to comply with an agreement that followed the landmark Campaign for Fiscal Equity Ruling of 2006.
The suit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, maintains the state is $4 billion behind in making good on the deal then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer struck in 2007 to settle CFE.
After the first two years of the phase-in of this agreement, however, the state first froze and then dramatically slashed aid for education, the suit notes, and in so doing, failed to fulfill its constitutional requirement to provide every student with a sound, basic education. The suit also alleges that the property tax cap successfully pushed through the Legislature by Cuomo has exacerbated the shortfalls in state education aid and denied districts the resources necessary to meet instructional needs.
The suit mentions the Common Core curriculum, noting additional federal funds districts have received through Race to the Top have constituted less than one-third of the amount needed for proper implementation, and the state has so far not provided additional funds to cover that cost, or the additional costs of the new teacher performance evaluation requirements.
The state "won" $700 million dollars for Race to the Top in return for agreeing to tying teacher evaluations to test scores, increasing the charter cap, creating a data tracking system for student information and "strengthening" the state's educational standards.
The costs of these reforms is way over the $700 million the state "won" from Obama and Duncan.
Gary Stern at LoHud took a look at just what the "cost" of the RttT reforms was for some districts:
Race to the Top, the Obama administration’s ambitious but controversial education initiative, is turning out to be a major expense for local school districts at a time they can least afford it.
When New York applied for a piece of the highly competitive $4 billion program, school districts were told that most would get a share of the pot to pay for programs required by Race to the Top. In August, New York became one of 12 states to win the race and was awarded a maximum $700 million federal prize.
But of 54 districts in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, eight got no federal money. And 31 districts received grants of less than $50,000.
At the same time, school officials are finding they will have to spend significantly more — perhaps 50 to 100 times as much, in some cases — to meet Race to the Top’s demanding requirements. These include the rapid development of a new teacher and principal evaluation system that many educators oppose and preparation for the adoption of new national learning standards, known as the Common Core, by 2014.
South Orangetown got a $23,366 piece of the state’s Race to the Top pie and spent it in two days during the summer on administrator training, Mitchell said. But the district expects to spend almost $2 million over four years to meet the program’s demands.
Most districts have not had reason to calculate their Race to the Top costs. Doing so is complicated because it involves not only training, software, textbooks and other tangible expenses, but the manpower hours put in by school officials who have to take time away from working on their budgets or other necessary tasks.
But South Orangetown and five other Rockland County school districts tried to quickly crunch their anticipated Race to the Top expenses and reached a startling conclusion. The six districts got $393,398 in Race to the Top money — but expect to spend about $10.9 million on the program over four years.
Race to the Top was a bait and switch - $700 million in federal aid for the "reforms" the ed deformers wanted and in the end, the reforms cost way more than $700 million and a lot of that money ends up right back in the deformers' pockets (i.e., Pearson, McGraw-Hill, College Board, Amplify, et al.)
And Cuomo is still hawking that jive stat about NY paying so much per pupil and not getting a return on investment.
Who's he kidding?
Most of that money never gets anywhere near a classroom.