A fuller comparison of school costs by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Charter schools sharing space in New York City public school buildings cost less to operate than traditional public schools, counter to the findings of a 2010 research memo from the Independent Budget Office (IBO), according to a white paper issued today by a research group affiliated with former state comptroller candidate and financial advisor Harry Wilson.

The cap-buster count, 2013 edition | NY Torch

Twenty-seven* school districts were seeking to override the state's property tax cap in yesterday's school budget votes. Twenty of these districts -- or 74 percent -- failed to collect the needed 60 percent supermajority to pass, according to news accounts. The closest result was in the Cornwall School District in Orange County, which fell two votes short of an override supermajority.

Marching for still more school dollars by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Yesterday brought a march on Albany by something called the “Educate NY Now campaign,” in which the union-backed Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) figures prominently. The demonstration served to bring attention to AQE’slatest statistical hobby horse — an “opportunity gap” created by the $8,601 difference in per-pupil spending among the wealthiest and poorest schooldistricts in New York.

Make way for … Son of CFE! by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) litigation of 1993-2006 established the principle that New York State is constitutionally obligated to ensure funding of a “sound, basic education” for pupils in New York City schools. Today, the state’s highest court cleared the way for a lawsuit claiming that funding levels for about a dozen of New York’s small city school districts doesn’t meet that requirement.

More on education spending by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The Citizens Budget Commission has posted some nifty charts breaking out the difference between New York State and the U.S. averages for different categories of public elementary and secondary school spending. One noteworthy data point: between 1999 and 2009, spending per pupil on employee benefits for instructional staff rose 169 percent in New York...

Teacher’s pest by Nicole Gelinas | | NY Torch

Mayor Bloomberg's latest ed-reform plan has gotten much attention. To get the teachers' union to support merit pay, Bloomberg proposes to give teachers a salary hike of $20,000 if they prove "highly effective" for two years in a row under a new teach...

School Staffs Grew in New York by E.J. McMahon | | Reports

New York State educators are warning that proposed cuts in state aid to public schools next year could force more than 14,000 teacher layoffs. Officials of the state’s largest teachers’ union claim aid cuts will “devastate” education, leading to a “drastic” reduction of programs and “much larger class sizes.”

Salvaging NY’s School “Contracts” | Reports

Spitzer’s expansion of education funding and restructuring of the school aid formula may be his most important legacy. Unfortunately, C4E has been seriously hobbled by flaws in its assumptions about the mechanisms of reform, by misguided beliefs about “what works” in achieving excellence, and by a compressed timeline for adoption and implementation.

But Remember: It’s All for The Kids | NY Torch

In a single recent 12-month period, the state's largest teachers' union spent $150 million on itself, according to a new study by the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability.

FERA understandably found it hard to resist linking the "lavish" spending habits of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) with the union's perennial demand for more state education spending.