NYC education panel approves $10 billion budget formula following promise of review

A New York City education panel has approved the same $10 billion school budget proposal it previously rejected, after the Education Department promised to review its funding formula.

Twelve of the 15 members of the city’s Panel for Education Policy voted in favor of the budget Wednesday night, with one abstention, one no vote, and once absence — clearing the way for principals to start hiring teachers and purchasing supplies for next year.

Schools Chancellor David Banks promised to form a “working group” to re-evaluate and tweak the formula in the future, but argued that in the meantime, the formula must be passed in its current form to prevent the system from “grinding to a halt.”

Debate over the 15-year-old funding formula surfaced during the panel’s April meeting, when members delivered a rare rebuke to the city Education Department by rejecting it, citing its lack of dedicated dollars for foster kids and homeless students. Panel members also criticized the Education Department for failing to publicly release a report from a task force of parents and educators that spent years developing recommendations to change the formula.