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The CFE Decision and the Future of the City’s Schools

Thursday January 2005

Panelists: Jay Greene, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; Randi Weingarten, President, United Federation of Teachers; Charles Brecher, Director of Research, Citizens Budget Commission; Sol Stern, Contributing Editor, City Journal
Moderator: Anthony Coles, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, LLP, Former Deputy Mayor, The City of New York

The Campaign for Fiscal Equity decision promises to shake up New York City’s schools. The recent special masters order requiring an additional $5.6 billion in annual operating expenditures within four years would increase per pupil spending by over 40 percent; the order’s further requirement of billions more in capital expenditures would create a tremendous boom in school construction. But is this the best result for our children?

Will the large increase in spending have the desired effect? Are there ways other than those suggested by the special masters to spend any increase in funds that would make increased student achievement more likely? Are there difficulties inherent in enmeshing education finance and management in our judicial system?