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Asian students under attack, again, by DOE

A Department of Education Working Group looks to defund advanced academics.

On Nov. 4, a working group appointed by the city Department of Education released its recommendations for revising the formula for funding NYC’s public schools. This funding formula known as “Fair Student Funding” accounts for about 65 percent of what school principals receive to cover teacher salaries and other expenses. The formula is designed so that a high-needs student (e.g., low state test score, English language learner or student with disability, etc.) would bring more funding to a school as he or she typically requires more resources for support.


Education “equity” advocates made the case to Chancellor David Banks that this funding formula needed to be adjusted to reflect contemporary priorities and refused to pass the DOE budget until assurances were made by Banks that it would be reformed. In good faith, Banks had the DOE assemble a working group to hear out their concerns. Sounds reasonable, right?


The current formula allocates more than half of NYC’s 700 high school programs additional funding under the “Portfolio School” designation. This designation includes 300 CTE (Career Technical Education) programs, 25 Specialized Audition programs and only 13 Specialized Academic programs.


When the working group made recommendations in its final report for updating the funding formula, four were to increase funding, and the sole cut was to defund the 13 Specialized Academic programs. Those include the eight specialized high schools and in-demand schools in Queens — Townsend Harris High School, which ranks No. 1 in New York State and No. 19 in the country, and Bard High School Early College. In other words, they want to defund advanced academics.

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