Posts tagged "Helaine Doran"
June 8, 2011
The Campaign for Fiscal Equity, the advocacy organization whose historic, years-long lawsuit brought increased funding to the New York City schools, is closing its doors — at least in its current format, The New York Times reported this afternoon.
The organization’s last employee, Executive Director Helaine Doran, will leave at the end of the month because the group has run out of funding, the Times reports.
The development comes despite the fact that the dollars won by the group’s lawsuit have fallen far short of what was promised in a settlement between the group and the state in 2007.
The Times is right to describe the development as part of a greater shift in the way that philanthropists think about education advocacy, one that has made groups like former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee’s Students First active in New York City while the Campaign for Fiscal Equity struggled. The old mantra was that urban districts failed because they have been historically under-funded; now, advocates are more likely to argue that funding is necessary but not sufficient. (Another budget watchdog, the Educational Priorities Panel, dissolved in 2007, also due to a loss of funding.)
But it’s also possible that the dissolution of CFE could actually signal a renaissance of its original efforts: litigation aimed at forcing New York to spend more on needy school districts. (more…)
September 21, 2010
City high schools that serve similar students graduate their students at wildly different rates, according to a report to be released today.
Among schools with the neediest students, one school graduated 90 percent of students in four years. Another graduated just 34 percent, the report found.
The report confirms that the city’s highest-performing schools overwhelmingly enroll students who already had high test scores and attendance rates. But it also shows that even among schools serving the highest-need students, some do a much better job graduating students than others.
The report was prepared by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, the group that successfully fought for an extra $5.4 billion in 2004 for the city’s neediest schools.
The study looked at ninth graders who entered high school in 2004. It separated high schools into peer groups based on the demographics and eighth-grade academic performances of that class. (Read the full report here.) (more…)
October 13, 2009
The city’s Department of Education will likely lift the ceiling on class sizes this year, a department official said today.
DOE chief operating officer Photeine Anagnostopoulos told the City Council education committee this morning that it was realistic to expect the city to “adjust” its class size targets. How dramatic the increases will be is still unclear, she said.
“We have to go back and do some more homework,” Anagnostopoulos said.
Anagnostopoulous’ comments came during a hearing on the department’s use of state Contracts for Excellence funding. The funds are given to school districts that prove they will spend the funds in six key areas, one of which is class size reduction. (more…)
February 6, 2009
Some not-quite-mayoral control news from the mayoral control hearing: Overcrowding in the city’s schools might be worse than anyone has estimated, according to the organization responsible for the promise of billions of new dollars for the city’s schools.
Helaine Doran, deputy director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, just said that CFE would release a report next week saying that 501,632 students in the city attend school in an overcrowded building.
CFE’s numbers would mean that about 46 percent of the city’s approximately 1.1 million students attend overcrowded schools — far more than the 38 percent that the advocacy organization Class Size Matters calculated last year. Class Size Matters used the Department of Education’s school capacity and enrollment data to come up with its figure; Doran didn’t say today how CFE arrived at its calculation.
Doran said the overcrowding developed over a long period of time. “I’ve been in this school system a long time and the number even startled me,” Doran said. “We just didn’t get there.”
December 19, 2008
After more than 15 years arguing in courts that the city’s public schools are illegally under-funded, a long lawsuit that ended in 2006 in a victory, could the financial crisis and the budget cuts it’s causing pull education advocates back to court? Hard to imagine, but increasingly it does seem possible.
When I talked earlier this week to the Helaine Doran, the deputy director of the group that filed the lawsuit, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, she was cautious about legal action. “We have no process of like, ‘Oh yes, we’re going back to court immediately,’” she said. “You have to look at the numbers and figure it out.” But there’s growing momentum suggesting court may be a possibility.
Michael Rebell’s editorial in the Daily News today uses stronger language. (more…)
December 17, 2008
A point I didn’t make strongly enough about Governor Paterson’s proposed budget is that the plan would delay, by four years, the cash infusion that was supposed to come as the settlement of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. The terms of the settlement were that both the state and city agreed to pour an extra $5.4 billion into the city schools over four years.
Now that budget proposals are not only not following up on those increases but also cutting away from what was given last year, the group that filed the lawsuit in the first place — the Campaign for Fiscal Equity — is pushing back. The group will be lobbying the legislature hard to say no to Paterson’s budget. Their better idea for how to tackle the state’s giant deficit: tax the affluent, the proposal the Working Families Party has floated.
Helaine Doran, the campaign’s deputy director, said officials are also consulting with their lawyers. “We have no process of like, ‘Oh yes, we’re going back to court immediately,’” she said on the phone this afternoon. “You have to look at the numbers and figure it out. We have geniuses helping us.”
CFE will be joined by the teachers union in lobbying the legislature to make fewer cuts to the city school system. Randi Weingarten called the proposals “chilling” in a statement yesterday that estimated the overall impact to city schools — state and city cuts combined — at $1 billion.
Weingarten’s full response, plus a long press release from CFE and other education advocates who are joining them in fighting the budget cuts, are below. (more…)