Press Release – The Cost of Failure

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE** FEBRUARY 2, 2015

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NEW REPORT SHOWS NYC SPENDS NEARLY TWICE AS MUCH ON LOWEST-PERFORMING SCHOOLS AS ON TOP SCHOOLS, TO NO EFFECT

For Students Trapped in Failing Schools, Additional Funding for a Broken System Is Not the Answer

Data Shows Only Bold, Systemic Change Can Address Failing Schools Crisis

NEW YORK, NY — A new report (attached) by Families for Excellent Schools reveals the City actually spends nearly twice as much on its worst schools as it does on its best ones, with no impact on performance.  With 143,000 students trapped in failing schools citywide, the report shows that wasted resources, not lack of them, are to blame for the city’s broken school system.

“The rhetoric from special interests hasn’t matched the facts: Schools are failing — but not because they don’t have money. They’re failing because the system is broken. With 143,000 students trapped in failing schools, we need bold change, not more of the same,” said Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of Families for Excellent Schools.

New York City spent nearly twice as much on students in its 50 lowest-performing elementary, middle, and high schools than in its top 50 schools at these levels in 2013-2014, according to an analysis of individual school budget allocations and district spending. At the city’s worst-performing schools, where only 2% to 7% of students were able to read or do math at grade level, the city spent thousands more per-pupil at those schools than at New York City’s highest-performing schools.

As a result, the city is spending an astronomical amount of money per proficient student at the city’s worst schools.  For middle schools, the city spends more than $1 million per proficient student—an extraordinary expense, nearly 50 times that at the city’s highest-performing schools.

Key Findings from the Analysis:

  • The city’s bottom 50 elementary schools received an average $30,072 per student compared with an average $17,833 at the top 50 elementary schools.Students at the bottom 50 elementary schools were, on average, 7% proficient, while their counterparts at the top 50 elementary schools were, on average, 76% proficient.
    • The 50 lowest-performing elementary schools produced one proficient student for every $456,255 spent.
    • The 50 highest-performing elementary schools produced one proficient student for every $23,461 spent.
  • At the middle school level, the bottom 50 schools received an average $30,256 per pupil, compared with $16,277 at the top 50 middle schools. Students at the lowest-performing middle schools were, on average, 3% proficient, compared with an average 57% at the highest-performing middle schools.
    • The 50 lowest-performing middle schools produced one proficient student for every $1,008,533 spent.
    • The top 50 middle schools produced one proficient student for every $28,556 spent.
  • New York’s bottom 50 high schools received an average $27,790 per pupil, while the top 50 high schools got an average $15,229.Students at the lowest performing high schools were, on average, 2% college ready, while their counterparts at top-performing high schools were 63% college ready.
    • The lowest-performing high schools produced one college-ready student for every $1,389,476 spent.
    • The top-performing high schools produced one college-ready student for every $24,173 spent.