D.C.-based writer, Meghan Clyne, profiles the real world effect of the funding cut on the Elmwood Village Charter School, a high-performing school in Buffalo ("An Attack on Kids") http://www.nypost.com/seven/04142009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/an_attack_on_kids_164309.htm
The lead editorial continues to make hay out of the clumsy scripting by the United Federation of Teachers of the City Council members' questions at its April 6th hearing on charter schools, including a telling imagery of UFT president, Randi Weingarten as "puppet master" ("How to Buy A City Council"). Ouch.
Declining State Tax Collections
Adding salt to the charter wound, the Rockefeller Institute of Government, a public policy research organization tied to SUNY Albany's Rockefeller Graduate School of Public Affairs, issued a report today documenting the sharply declining state sales tax revenue and other tax collections in the fourth quarter of 2008 and equally doleful indications for early 2009. The Institute says the drop sales tax collections is the largest in 50 years. Sales tax activity is one of the most sensitive or "elastic" indicators of economic activity, as it is tied to consumer behavior of non-food items subject to sales tax.
The report also shows (Table 7) that New York State has the fifth worst "Indexes of Economic Activity" among the fifty states -- meaning the economic isn't very good in New York, especially when compared to 45 other states.
The Rockefeller Institute's report can be found here: http://www.rockinst.org/newsroom/news_releases/2009/2009-04-14-sales_tax_collections_worst_in_50_years.aspx
Economy Connected to Charters
The state of New York's economy and near-term outlook has a direct connection to charter schools with the bridge being the state budget enacted barely two weeks ago.
As the economy co continues to perform poorly, so will state revenue collections. This could force the state legislature to revisit the enacted budget to make further spending cuts, similar to what was done last year. Spending cuts would be a certainty in such circumstances since the legislature already significantly hiked taxes in a manner not seen since the early 1970s.
Will charter schools be affected? Considering the $51 million cut for 2009-10, charter schools have already borne a disproportionate funding cut. In addition, education is usually the last item that would see cuts if the legislature were to revisit the state budget, especially since school aid went up so modestly and was spared of any mid-year budget cuts last year.
Ominously, however, the economic and state revenue situation may not bode well for any kind of funding restoration of the $51 million to charter schools if the state continues this hemorrhage money.
for The Chalkboard
Disclaimer: The Chalkboard is hosted by the New York Charter Schools Association (NYCSA) as a place where members, public education advocates and others can view and respond to informed commentary on timely public education and charter school issues. The views expressed here are not necessarily the official views of the NYCSA, its board, or of any of its individual charter school members. Anyone who claims otherwise is violating the spirit and purpose of this blog. To comment on anything you read here, or to offer tips, advice, comments, or complaints. please contact TheChalkboard.