From the Daily News:
Mayor Bloomberg tells black voters he wiped out political favoritism that gave "white" schools more money than "minority" schools - but education experts say his facts are sloppy.
Even a deputy mayor admits his comments go too far.
"He may have overstated it to emphasize the point that a lot of schools in poorer communities did not get as much as they should," Dennis Walcott said.
At issue are remarks like those Bloomberg made in a Bronx church Sunday when he said that when he came into office, "minority schools generally were funded two or three thousand dollars less per capita than the white schools" because of "political power."
The "white schools," Bloomberg said, "knew how to call their city councilperson or whoever" to get "more money."
It was a system, he said, he set out to fix by distributing funds based on how many students are poor and how many need extra help with English or disabilities.
But experts say he mischaracterized how schools were funded before - as well as the reason.
Historically, the city's per-student funding was affected by everything from enrollment - crowded schools get less per student than half-empty ones - to teacher salaries.
"Schools with more experienced teachers got a lot more money," said Michael Rebell of Columbia University's Campaign for Educational Equity.
Since experienced teachers tend to prefer richer schools, this - not access to power - is what drove inequities.
The inequalities were not as stark as Bloomberg suggests.
City data released when Bloomberg changed school funding two years ago showed that schools getting below-average funds were spread out all over the city and included both rich and poor.