New York City Schools To Get $600 Million In State Funding Next Year

There is a historic increase in state education funding for New York City schools. It’s the result of a battle that’s been fought for decades. CBS2's Lisa Rozner reports.

Video Transcript

- Historic increase in state-education funding for New York City schools. It is the result of a battle that has been fought for decades. CBS 2's Lisa Rozner tells us what it means for students this fall.

LISA ROZNER: More staff, school supplies, and even new athletic programs are some of what can become a reality for the city's most disadvantaged schools in the fall thanks to a $600 million investment.

- For years and years, we all saw an injustice in this city, that some schools got more money each year consistently than other schools and perpetuated divisions that were unacceptable.

LISA ROZNER: It's estimated schools were shortchanged billions of dollars. The Fair Student Funding Formula calculates how much a school should get per student. For example, students with disabilities and multilingual students need extra support. In the last few years, some schools only received 80% to 90% of that money. Education advocates say that's because the state was not meeting its court-mandated funding obligations.

There were high hopes after a ruling in the early 2000s.

- I think this is a defining moment for education in the country. This is a terribly-important decision.

LISA ROZNER: And now, during the pandemic, this Redhook principal says it'll increase her budget by 10%.

JULIE CAVANAGH: --a guidance counselor for us as well as additional personnel for the academic support that our students are going to need.

LISA ROZNER: Education advocates say it's a long time coming.

- That's going to actually be able to fully fund our schools in ways that matter to our communities, in particular, Black and Brown students, Latinx students, that have been shortchanged for years.

LISA ROZNER: And there's hope it leads to smaller class sizes.

- New York City class sizes are 15% to 30% larger than those in the rest of the state.

- I know students who are logging on, trying to log on, with a cell phone. One in four students right now with special needs are not getting adequate-- their services, their mandated services.

LISA ROZNER: Principals decide where the money goes for their school. As for oversight, the New York state comptroller says it does have the ability to audit. On the west side, Lisa Rozner, CBS 2 News.

- The $600 million is an annual investment for the next three years so schools can also make long-term plans.