Facebook Twitter
Mayor Bill de Blasio at lunch with students at P.S. 69 in the Bronx. (Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)

Mayor Bill de Blasio at lunch with students at P.S. 69 in the Bronx. (Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)

City to boost funding for 130 struggling and community schools

The city will increase spending by about $34 million next year on 130 schools that struggle with low student achievement and attendance, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

In subsequent years, the city will boost funding by $60 million annually for those schools, which are part of the administration’s “Renewal” turnaround program, its “community schools” initiative to offer more social services to students and their families, or were identified by the state as chronically low performing. The money, which comes from a mix of state and city funds, is in addition to extra funding the schools will receive through the Renewal and community schools programs, officials said.

“These new investments will make a real difference: more AP classes, more guidance counselors, extra tutors, and schools open longer,” de Blasio said in a statement Monday. “We have a plan for these schools’ success and we’re going to make sure they have the tools to turn around and raise student achievement.”

The funding infusions will for the first time bring those schools’ budgets to the levels promised by the previous administration when it introduced a new funding formula in 2007 based on student need. The “Fair Student Funding” system is meant to give schools more money based on the number of students they serve who have special needs or are behind academically, but a 2013 report found that 94 percent of schools did not receive the full amount they were owed based on that formula.

With this increase, the 130 schools will now receive 100 percent of the Fair Student Funding they are owed, officials said. For the 94 Renewal schools that are part of that group, that increase will amount to an extra $250,000 per year on average.

In addition, every city school will now receive a minimum of 82 percent of the needs-based funding they are owed, up from the current minimum of 81 percent, the officials said. That change will boost the budgets of roughly 400 schools, they said.

The 130 schools will be required to submit detailed spending plans to their superintendents that show how they will use the extra money to raise attendance levels, student credit-earning, and graduation rates. Possible uses of the money include hiring extra teachers and guidance counselors or offering more advanced courses.

“Lifting up our schools requires real resources,” Chancellor Carmen Fariña said in a statement, “and that is what we are committed to delivering.”