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No Strings Attached? Ensuring that "CFE" Funds are Spent Effectively

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Publication Date: July 2004

Publisher(s): Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Center for Civic Innovation

Author(s): Raymond Domanico

Topic: Education (School administration)
Education (Education financing, facilities, and equipment)
Government (Local and municipal government)

Keywords: public education; school funding; Campaign for Fiscal Equity; New York City schools

Type: Report

Coverage: New York


The 2003 New York State Court of Appeals ruling in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case has created a historic opportunity to reform New York City's troubled schools. Unfortunately, state officials seem focused on increasing funding statewide without mandating change in how the city manages its schools. This report reviews two decades of evidence showing that increasing school aid without structural reforms does not improve city schools. Instead, the data point to the city's real problem: poor management, and contractual restrictions that make it virtually impossible to assign more good teachers to the schools that need them most. If state officials do not mandate structural reforms through the CFE ruling, they will only succeed in mandating a higher price tag for failure.