Contracts for Excellence

The NYC Department of Education receives some of its annual budget from the NY State Foundation Aid program. Every year, the State allows some of the additional aid to be used for growth in general operating costs and investment in ongoing programs. However, some of the funding must be used according to the State’s “Contracts for Excellence” law. New York City schools received Contracts for Excellence (C4E) funds for the first time in the 2007 - 2008 school year. These funds under State law must be given to certain schools and must be spent by those schools in specific program areas.

How it Works

  1. Funds must support specific programs areas. C4E dollars must be spent to support new programs and activities or to expand existing programs and activities in the following six program areas:
    • Class-size reduction
    • Time on task
    • Teacher and principal quality initiatives
    • Middle school and high school restructuring
    • Full-day pre-Kindergarten and
    • Model programs for English Language Learners (New in 2008-09).
  2. Funds must go to students with the greatest need. C4E funds must be used to improve the performance of students with the greatest educational need, including:
    • English Language Learners (ELLs)
    • Students with disabilities
    • Students in poverty and
    • Students performing below State learning standards or students who are at risk of not graduating.
  3. Funds must supplement, not supplant. Funding is intended to provide additional educational resources.

Class Size Working Group

In February 2023, the Chancellor announced that NYC Public Schools would be convening a Class Size Working Group to gather input related to implementing Chapter 556 of the Laws of 2022, which mandates smaller class sizes in the New York City school district.

NYC Public Schools will be looking to build a working group of diverse perspectives and experiences from across New York City, taking into account individuals’ geographic representation, experience as a parent or guardian of a NYC Public School student, educator, advocate, researcher or other stakeholder, while also considering individuals representing different school levels and sizes as well as organizational affiliations.

In late February 2023, NYC Public Schools launched a survey for individuals to express interest in participating in the working group. The survey will remain open until Tuesday, March 14th, 2023 and is accessible at the following link: If you are interested in participating, please complete the survey.

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