From Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl:
The wealthiest 10 percent of New York school districts spent 80 percent more per student last year compared to the poorest 10 percent, according to the state’s largest teacher union.
The New York State United Teachers analysis found that during the 2012-13 school year, the wealthiest districts spent an average of $35,690 per student. The poorest schools spent an average of $19,823.
The union said the spending gap points to issues with the state’s 2 percent property-tax cap, which the group is trying to overturn in court. NYSUT filed its analysis as an addendum to its lawsuit against the state, which was first filed earlier this year.
In an affidavit filed in state Supreme Court, NYSUT contends the state’s tax cap exacerbates the funding inequality.
During the 2012-13 school year, the richest 10 percent of districts increased their property-tax levy by an average of $704 per student, NYSUT analyst Peter Applebee found. The poorest 10 percent saw a $114-per-student increase.
The gap between the wealthier and poorer districts wasn’t just financial, according to the union.
A spokesman for the state Education Department declined comment, citing the ongoing lawsuit.
Here’s the NYSUT affidavit: