Saturday, October 01, 2016
DOE Continues Their Destructive Fair Student Funding At The Expense Of The Students.
Back in 2005, when Randi Weingarten allowed Chancellor Joel Klein to give principals complete control of their budget, one of the most destructive aspects of this new policy was the "Fair Student Funding" (FSF) that was imposed on the schools in 2007 as part of the budget process. The fsf in conjunction with the elimination of seniority bumping rights and closing schools (162 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg) caused an explosion of excessed teachers. At last count there are still 1,162 teachers without a classroom, which does not include ATRs who are provisionally appointed or covering a long-term leave. By contrast, this year the schools hired over 5,700 "newbies" who have no classroom experience rather than hiring an experienced classroom teacher.
Why would principals rather hire a "newbie" who must learn classroom management, curriculum, and the culture of the New York City classroom over a teacher who has mastered these skills? The answer is the fsf. You see the fsf penalizes schools who hire experienced teachers as the higher a teacher's salary the less money the school has to supply the resources to give to the staff. The DOE will claim that many school districts nationwide use fsf and that is correct but only New York City makes it school based rather than district based as the rest of the country does. The result is that principals are forced to "hire the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their school.
To exacerbate the problem, after the 2008 recession, Mayor Bloomberg cut the school budget and the average school received only 86 % of their fsf.. Some of the large comprehensive schools were cut even more as one school in Queens, slated for eventual closing but did not received only 78% of their fsf. By contrast the new Bloomberg small schools, to ensure they succeed, received 100% of their fsf and the newest schools even more than 100% (one school received 160% according to the IBO report). Eight year later, Mayor Bill de Blasio has a 6 billion dollar surplus, yet this year's budget is still only 89% of the fsf and is only expected to increase to 92% of the fsf. The good news is not only is the school budget increasing, but the schools should all be getting the same percentage of the fsf, no more winners (Bloomberg small schools) and losers (large comprehensive schools). However, the fsf still hurts the schools and the students by penalizing principals who hire veteran teachers.
The blame lies with Mayor Bill de Blasio and his Chancellor, Carmen Farina, who has retained 80% of the Bloomberg policymakers at the DOE and allowed the bloated Central Bureaucracy to continue to suck up funds that could be better spent on school based student services or lower class sizes. However, at the DOE its still ideology first and children last...always.