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January 29, 2007

NY Governor Spitzer to Tie Increased School Funds to Performance

Maria Newman:

Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York said today that he would allocate more money to the state’s public education system in his 2008 budget proposal, but he said the increased spending would be tied to better results from schools, educators and students.

“There will be no more excuses for failure,” Mr. Spitzer said. “The debate will no longer be about money, but about performance.”

The governor, in office for less than a month, did not tip his hand today on how much the public school system will get in the budget that he will submit to the state Legislature on Wednesday. But in an address to school leaders and legislators, he said that every school district that receives at least $15 million more this year in his new budget, or 10 percent more than in the previous year, would be subject to a new “contract for excellence” that will dictate how they can spend those funds.

Schools that do not perform well, he said, would be shut down. Educators who do not meet performance goals would be dismissed. A new accountability system would monitor how schools are performing academically and whether they are making the best use of their money, he said. Also, the schools will be judged on whether their academic programming is helping students perform better.

“We should be ready to close more schools that fail — perhaps as many as 5 percent of all the schools in the state if we have to,” he said.

Spitzer's Speech, "A Contract for Excellence" is available here.

Jonathan Mandell comments.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at January 29, 2007 5:24 PM
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