- New York is the latest state to have its education funding model fall under scrutiny, with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights taking up a request made last year by two upstate districts.
- The federal investigation, announced in a Nov. 25 letter, will involve the state's education department and Board of Regents, but not its executive and legislative branches.
- According to the complaint by the Schenectady and Middletown districts, the state's school aid system under-funds districts with significant numbers of minority students.
Schenectady and Middletown originally wanted the state's executive and legislative branches included in the investigation, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state's Legislature have, according to the two districts, altered a 2007 law meant to provide a more equitable funding model. Cuomo also hasn't been shy about his opinion that the state's public schools aren't up to par. The investigation also comes as a lawsuit filed by several districts is pending trial.
Additionally, Pennsylvania has a similar investigation and lawsuit of its own. That state's education department has reportedly been 'dodgy' regarding an investigation of its spending and contracting practices, and several districts are suing the state over alleged funding inequities. The Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding Commission has also been holding meetings centered around devising a more equitable way to fund schools.