New York City schools have had to make tough decisions over the last few years to accommodate the growth of charter schools.
In addition to the $2.5 billion in school construction funding approved by the City Council, which includes $2 billion for the district’s new charter school system, there have also been $500 million for new district-wide staffing and a $300 million increase in district salaries, including $200 million for district teachers.
The new budget, which was introduced Wednesday and is expected to be signed into law on Thursday, includes a $1 billion grant to the New York State Education Trust, which provides free, high-quality after-school programs to low-income and disadvantaged New Yorkers.
The funds will also be used to expand after-hours tutoring for New Yorkers who do not attend school in the district, the New Yorker reported.
Other initiatives included:A $500,000 fund for students with disabilities to pay for textbooks.
A $1.5 million fund to create a “School Choice Fund” to provide grants to New York schools for additional funding, including for textbooks, books and computers.
The money will go toward a $50 million project to expand online after-care services for students who do or do not have a parent, a spokesperson for the Trust told New York magazine.
The fund is intended to help low- and moderate-income New Yorkers afford their childrens school tuition.
The $300,000 grant to Teach for America, a nonprofit group that works with low- to moderate- and high-income students to get them a high-performing education, will be expanded to support additional after-year learning programs, including ESL and tutoring, according to a Teach for Americas spokesperson.
Another $500 will go to the city’s school-choice program, which will provide vouchers for low-cost private and parochial schools in the city.
The New Yorker report said the funds will be used in order to expand “the number of teachers on the streets of the city, who have little or no prior experience in public education, and who will also have a lot of teaching experience to draw upon in the future.”
Teach for America also announced that it would invest $400 million in “a range of new initiatives to build upon the state of our schools and create a school-focused model in New York.”
A new $200-million initiative is also in the works to build on the New England school model and to improve after-college opportunities, the NY Times reported.