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LAWSUIT PROMPTS NYC DOE TO SCHEDULE BOROUGH HEARINGS ON SCHOOL SPENDING PLAN

June 10, 2014

For the first time in more than four years, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) will hold timely, borough-wide public hearings on the Department’s Contract for Excellence plan for 2014-15. The hearings respond to a lawsuit filed by four public school parents represented by Education Law Center.

Under the Contract for Excellence (C4E) law, the DOE must develop a plan for spending increases in state aid on programs essential to ensure students a sound basic education under the NY Constitution. The plan must then be vetted through a public process that includes borough-wide hearings, as well as presentations at the 32 Community Education Councils (CEC) throughout the City. 

Under the Bloomberg administration, the DOE repeatedly violated the C4E law by failing to hold the mandated borough public hearings. Instead, the administration made presentations at CEC meetings well after the school year began. This deprived parents and the public of meaningful and timely input into the plan before the funds were spent, thus prompting the ELC lawsuit in March 2013.

The parents won an initial ruling by Supreme Court Judge Peter Moulton, who ordered DOE to hold timely, borough-wide hearings and CEC presentations. The DOE, under Mayor Bloomberg, appealed, triggering an automatic stay of Judge Moulton’s order.

In a press release issued today, the DOE announced that, as required by the C4E law, the district has scheduled hearings in all five boroughs:

Manhattan: June 17, 7:00-8:00 p.m., at Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10282

Brooklyn: June 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m., at Edward R. Murrow High School, 1600 Avenue L, Brooklyn, NY 11230

Bronx: June 19, 6:30-7:30 p.m., at Middle School 223, 360 East 145th Street, Bronx, NY 10454

Staten Island: June 23, 6:30-7:30 p.m., at the Petridis Complex, 715 Ocean Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301

Queens: June 25, 6:30-7:30 p.m., at Long Island City High School, 14-30 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106

“We are pleased that the DOE under Mayor Bill de Blasio has acted to give parents, advocates and concerned citizens the opportunity to review and comment on how dollars will be spent on the education of the city’s 1.1 million public school children,” said Wendy Lecker, ELC Senior Attorney. “We urge all parents and concerned citizens to review the DOE spending plan and provide comment to ensure funds are allocated to the essential staff, programs and services NY children need to succeed in school.”

“I am gratified that the DOE has agreed to host borough-wide hearings as required by law,” said Shino Tanikawa, co-plaintiff and president of District 2’s CEC. “We also urge the DOE to schedule timely CEC presentations so that approval of the C4E plan will not be delayed.”

 

Related Stories:

COURT RULING VINDICATES PARENTS' RIGHT TO HAVE INPUT ON NYC DOE SCHOOL SPENDING PLAN

 

Press Contact:

Sharon Krengel
Policy and Outreach Director
skrengel@edlawcenter.org
973-624-1815, x 24