Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, And Schools Chancellor Porter Announce Historic Investment

Mayor Bill de Blasio (pictured), Speaker Johnson and Schools Chancellor Porter today announced a historic investment to bring 100 percent “Fair Student Funding” (FSF).

This is for all New York City public schools funded by FSF for the first time ever, starting in the 2021-22 school year.

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“A recovery for all of us requires investing in all our children,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Fair student funding means more money directly into classrooms serving our students. We know what this funding means: higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates, and more students getting into college. I thank Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the State Legislature for making this possible, and Speaker Johnson for his partnership.”

“This is amazing news. The Council has advocated to fully fund our schools for years, including in this year’s budget response. One of our proudest achievements as a body was reaching a deal with the de Blasio administration to increase Fair Student Funding by $125 million in Fiscal 2019. This announcement surpasses that historic win, and comes at a crucial time for our students and schools. Now more than ever, we must be laser-focused at ending inequities in our schools, and Fair Student Funding is one of the ways we reach that ambitious goal. I thank the de Blasio administration for working with us to get this done, as well as Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for their efforts to make this happen. Today is a great day!” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

“Achieving one hundred percent fair student funding is a historic and game-changing investment that will further equity across all of our schools and provide greater resources, such as staff, materials, supplies, and more,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “I’m so grateful to those who advocated tirelessly for this and as a former Principal, I know how critical this investment will be for our school leaders and their communities .”

This investment represents the administration’s commitment to bring all schools to 100 percent FSF once the State met its Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) funding mandate. For decades, the City has short-changed over a billion dollars a year in State funding, but funds were included in the State’s recently enacted budget after years of advocacy the de Blasio Administration, the City Council, and in partnership with Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie and members of the State Legislature.

FSF is the primary source of funding for individual school budgets. It is driven by equity and specifically drives more resources to schools that serve students with higher needs, such as students requiring academic intervention, students with disabilities, and multilingual learners. Principals can use FSF at their discretion and it is mainly used to hire teachers and staff, as well as to purchase materials and educational resources to support school communities.

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This builds on the administration’s unprecedented investments in education and will help ensure every single school has the resources needed to support its students and staff during these challenging times. The FSF “floor” has been continuously raised under this administration, with investments totaling $1.6 billion to raise the FSF floor from 81 percent in 2014 to now 100 percent for the first time ever. More than half of DOE schools have seen additional funding as a result of these investments.

With this new investment, the FSF formula will be fully funded, after years of partial funding for most schools. No school will receive less than the full amount they are entitled to under the FSF formula. At the beginning of the de Blasio administration, some schools received only 81 percent of the amount they were entitled to under the FSF formula. Under this administration, the floor had grown to 90%, with the average school receiving 93% of formula.  This new investment impacts 1,164 schools and over 700,000 students in every borough and community school district.

The previous investments in FSF have supported New York City’s record-high graduation rates, record-low dropout rates, the rise of college enrollment, and college readiness rates to all-time highs.

Fair Student Funding is a principal’s most flexible funding source and on average accounts for two-thirds of their total school budget.

It is based on simple principles:

  • Allocations to schools should fund students’ classroom instructional needs;
  • Different students have different educational needs, and funding levels should address the cost of those needs as best as possible;
  • School leaders are best positioned to decide how to improve achievement; and
  •  School budgets should be as transparent as possible so that funding decisions are visible for all to see and evaluate.

FSF specifically directs money to needier students. Our school allocation methodology is driven by equity, and the data shows that it’s been successful in advancing it.

On average, schools with high concentrations of poverty receive over 20 percent more funding overall than schools with low concentrations of poverty.

“This is a historic day for New York City’s public schools and a tremendous win for students. We applaud the Mayor and Chancellor for finally fully funding our schools so that school leaders and their staff can deliver the high-quality education our students truly deserve. For years, our union has aggressively advocated for funding all schools at 100%, and we thank the City Council for partnering with us in that long, arduous, and persistent fight,” said CSA President Mark Cannizzaro.

“Fair Student Funding enacted in the 2021-2022 New York State Budget is long overdue and a crucial part of New York City’s recovery and rebuilding from this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “As we return to safe and regular education in all grades, the investment beginning in this 2021-2022 school will provide the resources to help students and educators deliver equitable and robust support for curriculum and instruction that will benefit students across New York City.”

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“With public schools in Senate District 22 owed $43 million in state aid, this budget will ensure that for the first time in a generation, schools in southern Brooklyn will be completely funded,” said Senator Andrew Gounardes. “The action we’ve taken on fair student funding guarantees that we’re taking transformational steps to increase state and federal resources to ensure that all of New York’s students receive the high-quality education they deserve and that students and teachers are adequately supported. This influx of new, recurring state funding, paired with additional money from the coronavirus relief package, is a critical investment to direct extra cash to schools with needier populations, and to set our students up for success.”

“As a mom and as a legislator, I applaud the de Blasio administration for joining the State in fully funding our public schools,” said Senator Jessica Ramos. “Directing more funds towards our schools will help our students and faculty achieve more, and the long-term results of fully funding our schools will be hard to overestimate. Thank you, Mayor de Blasio, for this monumental step forward in investing in our youth and in our communities.”

“After years of hard work and advocacy by city and state leaders, public schools that have been short-changed in state funding will finally get the money they deserve. The new methodology for the allocation of these monies will ensure that the students and schools who are in the most need get the resources and supplies to which they are entitled. Each student will have an equal and fair opportunity to achieve and excel, and that is especially important following the difficulties our school system has faced following the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator James Sanders Jr.

“The Campaign for Fiscal Equity resulted in a court decision that recognized the inequity in our state’s funding of education. I have fought along with my colleagues for years to see the mandate of the Campaign’s victory enacted. This year’s state budget finally makes that long struggle a reality. The funding to ensure educational achievement across the state is the culmination of our efforts. I am proud of this education budget and so pleased that the state is making an important stride toward the goal of equity in our schools,” said Assembly Member Deborah Glick.

“This groundbreaking investment will ensure that all public schools have access to the teachers, programs, materials and other valuable resources they need to maximize our children’s success in the classroom. This is a goal that is more urgent than ever with so many students falling behind during the pandemic,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz. “I was pleased to work with Speaker Heastie and my colleagues in bringing much-needed equity to student funding and we’re excited to see what the future holds for our children.”

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“Our New York City school students have suffered from disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fair Student Funding will provide the financial resources to hire more teachers, guidance counselors, and social workers to help our schools recover. Reaching the 100 percent goal in Fair Student Funding is a significant achievement that could not have come at a more needed time. Fair Student Funding means more educational resources will be in the classroom to help students who need it the most,” said Assembly Member David I. Weprin.

“New York continues to move forward on its promise to create a more equitable future for its children. Fully-funding schools under the Fair Student Funding formula means financial resources will be directed to the schools, and students, who need it most. I am proud to have fought alongside education advocates to ensure this funding was secured,” said Assembly Member Amanda Septimo.

“Fair Student Funding is personal for me. As a former teacher, I worked in an under-funded school during the Bloomberg years when decisions were made around the realities of a budget rather than the needs of students. Ask any NYC principal and they’ll tell you how important FSF is for their school’s ability to hire new teachers, counselors, and social workers as well as start new art and music programs. This $605 million investment in school budgets by Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Porter, Speaker Johnson, and the City Council signals a landmark turning point for NYC students and will open numerous opportunities and possibilities for them,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.

“NYC students have waited decades for the state to fully fund the Foundation Aid formula. NYC schools have been underfunded by over $1 billion. Finally, the state’s enacted budget includes a 3 year phase-in to fully fund Foundation Aid for NYC and the entire state. It is amazing to see the Mayor and the chancellor respond with such urgency to immediately bring all schools to 100% of their FSF. This strategic investment will enable schools to reduce class sizes, hire more counselors, literacy and math coaches as well as invest in art, music and sports programs for students.  We also hope the city will re-engage the FSF task force to adopt revisions to the FSF that would ensure the formula is truly equitable and fair,” said Maria Bautista, Campaigns Director, Alliance for Quality Education.

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