Underperforming LI schools ink promise, get funds
Some underperforming Long Island school districts promised to live up to certain standards in exchange for a state funding boost Tuesday.
Fifty-five underperforming schools received aid increases of 10 percent, or $15 million, more than the previous year. New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Robert Bennett said the funds aren't coming without strings attached, making underperforming districts sign a contract for excellence.
"We will look for measurable progress and we need to make that abundantly clear to the 55 school districts," Bennett said.
Copiague, Westbury and Brentwood are the three underperforming Long Island districts that received enough of an aid increase to warrant the contract of excellence. Brentwood Superintendent Michael Cohen welcomes the accountability.
"I believe that you don't fire the team, you fire the coach," Cohen said. "If I can't do it, let someone else have a shot."
Contract of excellence districts will focus on after-school activities, English language arts and smaller classes, among other academic goals.
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