January 23, 2023

Educators for Excellence Applauds New York City’s Announced Changes to Fair Student Funding

Today, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David Banks announced changes to Fair Student Funding for the 2023-2024 school year. The changes that the Chancellor seeks to incorporate, which were recommended by the Fair Student Funding Working Group and will need to be voted on by the Panel for Educational Policy, include adding an additional funding weight for students in temporary housing, and a weight for schools with high concentrations of students with needs, including students in poverty, students with disabilities, and English language learners. New York City public schools aims to commit $45 million to each of these groups, for a total of $90 million, to help alleviate lingering pandemic learning loss.

The Fair Student Funding Working Group was convened by the Chancellor in the spring of 2022, to examine the current Fair Student Funding formula and identify areas for improvement. Educators for Excellence applauds the Chancellor’s commitment to implementing two key recommendations made by the working group, and ensuring that New York City’s schools are funded equitably.

"Students in temporary housing and schools with high concentrations of students with additional needs were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Evan Stone, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Educators for Excellence. “This is an important shift for the city to be making, because now is the time to ensure that our funding formula sends more funds to serve schools and students that need them most, especially as temporary COVID-19 relief funds expire.”

Elizabeth Haela, a public school teacher in New York City that was part of the working group, highlighted how increased funding for schools with greater needs is an important and powerful step for the city to take.

“I’m extremely encouraged by the city’s decision to allocate funds to schools with greater needs,” said Haela. “A student that is in temporary housing might also require special education services, for example, so this funding will ensure that we no longer look at these populations in silos and instead ensure schools can adequately meet the wide-ranging needs of their students.”

Haela also said the weight for students in temporary housing will help principals plan with more diverse populations in mind. 

“The city’s current formula does not account for the number of students in temporary housing, so this important change in school funding will go a long way to meeting the needs of a larger population of students,” Haela said.

Educators for Excellence highlighted how the Chancellor’s commitment is a positive step to ensuring schools are equitably funded, but also encouraged continued consideration of other recommendations made by the working group.

“The city’s commitment today is a positive step, and we encourage the Panel for Educational Policy to vote in favor of these recommendations,” said Stone. “We also encourage the Chancellor, Mayor and policymakers to consider other recommendations made by the working group, such as increasing the weight for students in poverty and increasing the base foundation amount that each school receives.”

Founded by public school teachers, Educators for Excellence is a growing movement of more than 33,000 educators, united around a common set of values and principles for improving student learning and elevating the teaching profession. We work together to identify issues that impact our schools, create solutions to these challenges, and advocate for policies and programs that give all students access to a quality education.