Alliance for Quality Education Releases Report on State's Record-Setting Inequality in Public Schools
Gov. Cuomo Education Policies Have Led to Greatest Inequality in State History
ALBANY (Jan. 12, 2015) – The Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) released its latest report, Record Setting Inequality: New York State's Opportunity Gap is Wider Than Ever (PDF), which documents that under Gov. Andrew Cuomo educational inequality has grown to record setting levels. As a result wealthier school districts are better able to provide a solid future for their students than high-needs school districts can.
The report reveals how New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo's policies, such as disregarding the Campaign for Fiscal Equity court ruling, has led to troubling outcomes for students in high-needs districts.
Among AQE's findings are:
- The first two years of Gov. Cuomo's term, the spending gap between rich and poor school districts went from $8,024 per pupil to $8,733 per pupil.
- One quarter fewer students graduate from high-needs school districts than from wealthier ones.
- If Gov. Cuomo honored the state's commitments to fairly fund schools as the state's highest court ordered in the 2006 Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, inequality in the state would be dramatically reduced and more students would receive the quality education that is their constitutional right.
"We often hear from Governor Cuomo that money doesn't matter," said Executive Director Billy Easton. "On the contrary, money makes a huge difference in our public schools. Students in wealthy districts have the advantage of taking advanced courses like How to Become a Wall Street Millionaire and Advanced Placement Chinese. Students in poorer districts are struggling in overcrowded classrooms; frequently they have lost art and music. Often they don't even have enough textbooks; and parents in these districts are fighting to keep Kindergarten. Gov. Cuomo's continual starving of these schools is debilitating to our students future."
The report is calling for the Governor and the legislature to fully fund Universal Pre-K throughout the state; commit to community schools; focus on high-quality curriculum, not testing; meet the needs of English language learners; and finally, close the inequality gap by fully funding schools. This would require at $2.2 billion commitment from the state in new funding.
To read the full report, click here.
Local data on your area's school districts is available upon request.
The release of the report coincided with Moral Monday at the New York State Capitol, which was hosted by the Alliance for Quality Education and partnering education advocates. It featured the founder of Moral Mondays, Rev. Dr. William Barber, as well as American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and New York's NAACP President Dr. Hazel Dukes.