Group Urges More Money to Aid Poor in School

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New York State already outspends the rest of the nation on education, and a group of education experts at Teachers College at Columbia University is calling for it to spend even more.

At a conference on Tuesday, the Campaign for Educational Equity, an institute of the college, will make the case that the state, which spends an average of $18,126 annually per student, should also pay for an array of support services outside the classroom that would cost an additional $4,750 annually for every poor student, or millions more every year.

“This is not going the cheap way,” said Michael A. Rebell, an education professor and lawyer who is executive director of the Campaign for Educational Equity. “What we’re saying is, if we’re really serious about overcoming the achievement gap, students need these services to have a meaningful opportunity."

While some educators have long supported such services for the poor, the governor and State Legislature would have to approve the increased education spending as part of the state’s budget — something that is unlikely given the tough fiscal times, according to some lawmakers, aides and lobbyists.

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