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Betsy Combier

Help Us to Continue to Help Others »

The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Aaron Carr
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
For New York City Schools, How Much MORE Money Do You Want, Mr. Klein?
The New York POST editorial page is "Just Asking"
New York Post

May 24, 2004 -- Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who spends far more per student than other public-school districts do, was crying poverty last week, big time, at a City Council hearing.

Klein claimed that state lawmakers stiffed Gotham's schools out of $17 billion over the past decade.

He even linked Albany's funding to the racist "separate but equal" doctrine that the Supreme Court found unconstitutional 50 years ago last week.

"The bitter irony of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision is not lost on any of us as we meet today," Klein said.

"And yet, more than a generation later . . . New York state is not providing New York City public schools with the financial resources necessary to give all our students a sound basic education."

The linkage is a bit of a stretch.

For one thing, City Hall for years would skim mega-bucks off the top of Albany's school-aid appropriations - and spend the dough on welfare and file clerks.

That little secret rarely makes it into the school-aid debate.

But, for the sake of argument, assume that Klein's $17-billion estimate is in the ballpark.

He says the number was arrived at using methodology devised by Standard & Poor's to ascertain how much is needed for schools, going forward.

That question became critical in 2002, when a zealous Manhattan judge, Leland DeGrasse, ordered yet more spending for the schools and gave officials until July 30 to craft a new funding plan.

S&P was retained to help determine how much needs to be spent - so, in that sense, Klein's figure has standing.

But if Klein is going to base his charges on S&P's analysis, then he needs to acknowledge what else the securities-rating and financial-consulting firm said.

Such as: "There is no guarantee that the replication of higher spending levels will replicate higher achievement levels across the state."

In fact, S&P specifically cited "decades of evidence" showing that not money, but other factors - "students' socioeconomic and demographic circumstances, parent education levels . . . family-school relations" - are really what's key.

The truth, which Klein conveniently ignored in his big-bucks poverty plea, is that no serious study has ever - ever - found a correlation between funding and student achievement.

So if Albany stiffed Gotham, as Klein claims, maybe it did state taxpayers a favor. After all, if cash can't fix the schools, isn't it better that it wasn't spent?

Just asking.

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation