Chancellor Banks and PEP Members: Please REJECT the Working Group Recommendation to Defund Specialized High Schools

Sign the open letter.

A Department of Education Working Group recommended permanently cutting funding for 13 high schools that serve some of New York City’s highest achieving students. The Working Group targeted these 13 schools out of the 1,800+ public schools in the system. These 13 are known as the portfolio academic high schools and include the eight SHSAT Schools and five other academically selective schools.

These schools receive the least amount of funding in the entire City, averaging just $14,000 per student compared to $21,000 given to all high schools. Portfolio academic high schools already receive 33% less funding and yet this Working Group wants to cut their budgets even more! For example, Brooklyn Tech stands to lose $6.2 million a year representing 15% of its school funding for paying teachers. This is unfair and unacceptable! 

  1. Bard High School Early College (Manhattan)
  2. Bard High School Early College (Queens)
  3. Bronx High School of Science
  4. Brooklyn Latin High School
  5. Brooklyn Technical High School
  6. High School of American Studies at Lehman College
  7. High School of Math Science and Engineering
  8. Millennium Brooklyn High School
  9. NYC iSchool
  10. Queens HS for the Sciences at York College
  11. Staten Island Technical High School
  12. Stuyvesant High School
  13. Townsend Harris High School

The Working Group made other recommendations that will likely reduce the funding for these schools beyond their portfolio academic funding and you can read their final report here. Many elected parent leaders have already spoken out against this biased attempt to defund some of the top performing high schools, as well as the Working Group’s superficial and inadequate analysis of their recommendations.

What’s next?  It is now up to Chancellor David Banks and the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) to approve or reject these recommendations.

Please sign this letter urging the Chancellor and PEP to reject the recommendation to cut funding for the 13 portfolio academic high schools. We call upon the DOE  to establish a new working group which must clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of any funding recommendations in driving better outcomes for the students of New York City.

PLACE NYC and signatories

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