Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is getting behind a lawsuit that accuses the state of holding back millions of dollars of funds for struggling schools.
The lawsuit centers on schools that have been labeled persistently struggling. Many were put in line for “transformational grants.” Those funds helped schools improve, but without the persistently struggling designation, the state has pulled back the second year of grants
That’s what concerns Miner. She points to Grant Middle School in Syracuse, which was able to lose the struggling label through longer school days, an earlier start to the school year, redesigned classrooms and personalized curriculums for students.
“And once they were able to achieve these great results, which we congratulated them for, and they should be congratulated for, the state pulls back some of that funding. How are we going to continue to keep these successful programs in place, if once you achieve it, you pull away what has enabled you to get off that list?” asked Miner, during a back-to-school visit in Syracuse earlier this week.
Parents in Yonkers, Albany and New York City, filed the lawsuit with the help of the union-backed Alliance for Quality Education and the Education Law Center. The lawsuit claims schools are in line for a second year of grants, even though they came off the persistently failing list.