Responds to CFE Demand for Action
In response to a demand by Education Law Center’s Campaign for Fiscal Equity Project (CFE), the New York City Department of Education (DOE) posted its proposed Contract for Excellence (C4E) plan for 2012-2013 on February 12, 2013. The DOE released the proposed C4E five months after the September deadline established by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED), and more than halfway through the school year.
Public hearings, as required by the State Contract for Excellence law, have not yet been scheduled by DOE. Public comments on the plan are, however, due March 18, 2013.
The DOE took action to post the long-overdue plan following a demand sent by CFE putting the agency on notice of its clear violation of the State C4E law by failing to post the C4E plan and conduct public hearings in a timely fashion. The C4E law mandates that New York City’s C4E plan be developed through a public process, which includes public hearings in every county.
The purpose of the State C4E law is to hold the DOE accountable for spending any annual increases in state aid on those educational programs and services – such as small class size, full-day kindergarten and extended learning — that are research-proven to advance teaching and learning. Already halfway through the school year, DOE failed to provide parents with an opportunity to weigh in on how the C4E funds should be spent in city schools.
CFE demanded that the DOE post its proposed C4E plan and schedule public hearings immediately or face legal action. In response to this demand, the DOE posted its proposed C4E plan and will now schedule public hearings.
CFE urges all concerned parents, teachers, advocates and elected officials to review the proposed C4E plan and participate in the hearings to raise issues and concerns about the DOE spending plan for their schools, along with the City’s failure to present the plan in time to have a meaningful impact on the current school year.
“While better late than never, we are deeply concerned over the DOE’s flagrant failure to issue the C4E plan in a timely fashion, as required by state law,” said Wendy Lecker, CFE Project attorney. “We are also fully committed to taking action to have the public process for the City’s 2013-14 C4E plan occur much earlier in the budget cycle to give the public a meaningful opportunity to review next year’s plan.”
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