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Regents Looking to Get the Most Out of New School Funding

April 24, 2007


New York, NY - New York's Board of Regents meets today to decide how schools can spend the additional $1.8 billion in education funding. The board is expected to target reduced class sizes, longer school days, teacher training, restructuring programs, and pre-k. Billy Easton with the Alliance for Quality Education says today's meeting is the first step in making sure the new funding improves the quality of education for New York students.

"If we don't hold the school districts accountable then we will have spent all this money and not get the results we need to get. We need to make certain we get the results. It's very important."

The Board is expected to outline specific categories where schools can spend the new money, including longer school days, additional teacher training, and smaller class sizes. While the regents set the guidelines, it's largely up to school administrators where the money actually goes. Today's meeting comes at the end of a long battle to provide funding to the neediest students in the state.

“Across the state one out of three children aren't graduating from high school. That's a problem for parents, and it's a problem for the entire community. We have to educate those kids or it's a bleak future for New York State.”

The new rules apply to any district with a failing school that receives more than 10 percent increase in new funding. The draft regulations can be viewed at www.nysut.org.

Charles Lane/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NY