I noted this in a June post, but since the revised Contracts for Excellence continue to peg the Leadership Academy as a “district-wide,” discretionary allocation, it’s worth repeating: Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein have long planned to use Campaign for Fiscal Equity money to pay for the controversial principal training program.
Back in 2005, the program was embattled and its three-year term of private funding was coming to an end. The Times reported then:
Mr. Bloomberg had originally planned on sustaining the Leadership Academy using money from a court order mandating billions of additional dollars in state education aid for the city schools. But the state has appealed the ruling. Absent that money, Mr. Klein said yesterday that he would most likely turn again to private donors but was intent on continuing the effort, suggesting that, if necessary, the city would pick up part of the tab.
Now that the Campaign for Fiscal Equity money is finally beginning to roll into the city — 15 years after the lawsuit was filed — Klein appears to be making good on his word. But the state has complicated his plans by requiring the money to be spent on new initiatives that benefit low-performing students and high-need schools. Members of the public, along with elected officials, are right when they say this particular spending line violates the intent of the law, as PS 41 parent Irene Kaufman alleged at the Contracts for Excellence hearing in Manhattan on Wednesday night.
Not convinced? Take a more detailed look at the Leadership Academy and the DOE’s creative approaches to funding it.