New York School Boss Could Care Less About Students; ED is about Union Bosses
‘We’re Not About Improving the System’
Empire State K-12 School Costs Soar Even as Enrollment
“We’re not about improving the [government school] system .
. . .”
With these words, New York City Schools Chancellor Richard
Carranza, an appointee of union-label Mayor Bill de Blasio, declared, in an
appearance at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters, that helping
schoolchildren succeed is not his goal.
And he is now proving the point.
This winter, Mr. Carranza is joining with government union
officials and other allies in the Empire State to sway politicians in Albany to
jack up state taxpayer-provided funding for K-12 public schools by a hefty $2.2
billion for the 2019-20 academic year.
If the Big Labor-backed plan is approved, next year state
aid for government schools will increase by roughly 8%, or nearly four times
the projected rate of inflation as measured by the consumer price index.
As of 2016, the latest year for which comparable data are
available, nominal per pupil expenditures in forced-unionism New York were
already, at $22,316, the highest in the nation, and 90% above the U.S. average.
Since 1999-2000 School Year, State’s K-12 Enrollment Has
Fallen by 250,000
According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information
Center, a state government agency, prices for all goods and services in 2016
were on average more than 35% higher in New York state than in the U.S. as a whole. New York
taxpayers’ extraordinarily high costs for public education partly reflect the
fact that the state is expensive to live in, period.
But even with interstate differences in living costs
factored in, the per pupil cost of government schools in New York was still 40%
higher than the national average!
In recent years, the heavy burden of government-school costs
on New York taxpayers has grown rapidly even as the number of schoolchildren
Between the 1999-2000 and the 2016-17 school years,
enrollment in New York’s K-12 and pre-K district and charter schools fell by
more than 250,000, or 10%, as families sought better economic opportunities
elsewhere, most often in Right to Work states.
Meanwhile, school enrollment nationally rose by 7%.
National Right to Work Committee Vice President Mary King
commented: “With New York’s school-aged population declining, year after year,
one might at least hope that the amount of money the state’s taxpayers have to
fork over for elementary and secondary education would level off.
“But per pupil expenditures have grown so rapidly that the
bill for government schools continues to mount even as the number of
State ‘Spends a Great Deal For Mediocre Performance’
For all the money forced-unionism New York spends on public
education, the state’s educational outcomes, after controlling for student
demographics, rank below the national average, according to a recent published
analysis by economist Stan Liebowitz and researcher Matthew Kelly.
And New York’s educational outcomes rank far below those of
Right to Work states like Virginia, Florida and Texas. The Liebowitz/Kelly
study concludes that Big Labor-dominated states like New York spend “a great
deal for mediocre performance . . . .”
Ms. King explained:
“For years, union dons have wielded their
monopoly-bargaining power and their forced dues-fueled political clout to block
reforms, including higher pay for superior teachers and no automatic pay
increases for subpar teachers, that could help New York schools achieve better
results at a reasonable cost.
“All the while, politicians like Richard Carranza have
successfully pushed for an array of new and costly ‘education’ programs that,
in the words of City Journal editor Bob McManus, ‘degrade’ New York’s
relatively good schools ‘while doing virtually nothing to make the bad ones
The failure of New York’s education establishment to make
even remotely effective use of the vast resources it already has is widely
recognized by the public, and this could make it difficult for union bosses and
their cohorts to get the additional billions they want for the 2019-2020 school
‘Additional Billions Are Clearly Not the Solution’ For
Big Apple School Ills
As this Newsletter edition is written, even Gov. Andrew Cuomo,
who normally toes union monopolists’ line, is resisting.
“Additional billions are clearly not the solution for what
ails New York schools,” said Ms. King.
“Any genuine solution must begin with curtailing government union chiefs’ special privileges.”