UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
October 8, 1997
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, and YONKERS BRANCH - NAACP, et al., Plaintiff-Intervenors,
YONKERS BOARD OF EDUCATION, et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAND
ORDER FOR FURTHER DESEGREGATION RELIEF IN THE YONKERS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The factual findings and legal conclusions that serve as the basis for this Order have been set forth more fully in prior decisions of this Court and of the Court of Appeals in this action, including those contained in the Opinion filed together with this Order, and familiarity with those decisions is assumed.
In sum, this Court found in 1985, inter alia, that the Yonkers Public Schools ("YPS") was a racially dual school system, characterized both by segregation among schools and inequalities in the educational opportunities provided for students of differing racial and ethnic backgrounds. See 624 F. Supp. 1276. In May 1986, the Court ordered implementation of a desegregation remedy referred to as Educational Improvement Plan ("EIP" or "EIP I"), by which the Yonkers Board of Education ("YBE" or "Yonkers Board") put in place a magnet school program with certain related provisions that effectively eliminated segregation in enrollments among public schools in Yonkers. See 635 F. Supp. 1538, aff'd, 837 F.2d 1181 (2d Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 486 U.S. 1055, 100 L. Ed. 2d 922, 108 S. Ct. 2821 (1988).
In 1993, based on an application by both Yonkers Board and the plaintiff-intervenors, this Court found that vestiges of the dual school system continued to exist in YPS. The effect of those vestiges, the Court found, was that "although minority students in Yonkers attend school in the same buildings as majority students, they are undergoing different educational experiences" which adversely affect their learning and performance in school. See 833 F. Supp. 214, 225.
In 1995, this Court made factual findings regarding the role of the State of New York and other State defendants ("the State"
) in connection with the creation and maintenance of the dual school system in YPS. See 880 F. Supp. 212. In 1996, the Court of Appeals, based on this Court's findings, held that the State was liable, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Equal Educational Opportunity Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1701, et seq., for the unlawful dual school system in YPS, because the State, inter alia, had taken "actions that encouraged the perpetuation of segregation" in YPS. 96 F.3d 600, 618-19.
During a trial commencing on September 15, 1997, the State was given an opportunity to present evidence which it argued would show that vestiges of segregation no longer exist in YPS. This Court has found that the evidence before the Court establishes that the conditions which this Court identified in 1993 as vestiges of the prior dual school system continue to exist in YPS. The Court further has reaffirmed and specifically found that continuing vestiges of segregation in YPS are traceable to the prior dual school system that was established and maintained in substantial part by conduct of the State. Accordingly, the Court has now found that the State is liable for eliminating segregation and its vestiges in YPS and therefore must fund a remedy (as specified in this Order) to accomplish that goal.
During the remainder of the September 1997 trial, the Yonkers Board presented its proposed remedial plan -- referred to as Education Improvement Plan II ("EIP II") -- for eliminating to the extent practicable the vestiges of segregation that continue to exist in YPS. In general, the Yonkers Branch of the NAACP, et al., supported the YBE in its presentation of EIP II to the Court. The stated goal of EIP II, as well as the goal of this Order, is to eliminate the vestiges of segregation that this Court has found exist in YPS.
The State did not present the Court with any alternative to EIP II for remedying the vestiges of segregation in YPS, and it presented no persuasive evidence that any element of EIP II was inappropriate either educationally or as a remedial measure. Indeed, on balance, the testimony of the State witnesses supported the appropriateness of EIP II both for improving educational performance, particularly among minority students in YPS, and for eliminating inequities in the educational process and in student performance.
In the Findings of Fact that accompany this Order, the Court has found that the EIP II plan proposed by the YBE provides the framework for an appropriate remedial plan tailored to the task of eliminating the vestiges of segregation in YPS schools to the extent practicable. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that EIP II be implemented pursuant to the substantive provisions and the implementation schedule set forth below.
I. ESTABLISHMENT OF STANDARDS AND CURRICULUM
(a) A proper foundation for a plan to remedy the vestiges found by this Court is the development of a unitary set of standards for what all students regardless of race or ethnicity in YPS at each grade level should be taught and expected to learn. The YBE has presented the Court with a plan for developing and disseminating throughout YPS standards of this type, which are consistent, attainable and clearly defined. Moreover, the use of such a standards-based approach to promoting educational equity has been endorsed and widely promoted by the State.
(b) In addition to establishing such standards, the defendants must assure that all students are given an equal opportunity to meet those standards by providing the educational resources and supports necessary to address the educational needs of all students and otherwise to eliminate the conditions previously identified as vestiges of the dual school system in Yonkers. Among the most important of these resources are teachers who are trained and provided necessary support to implement these standards through effective instruction and assessment designed to meet the needs of all students. Teachers shall be provided with a curriculum, assessment tools and teaching strategies, which are aligned with these standards. The following steps will be taken to achieve these goals:
. The Yonkers Board will establish uniform standards for each grade level based on the nationally-developed New Standards and existing New York State Standards.
. District staff shall develop a curriculum based on the standards which include benchmarks for measuring student achievement in relation to the standards, suggested methods of assessment and sample instructional techniques for implementing the curriculum successfully in a racially and ethnically diverse school system.
. All staff members shall receive staff development training in the standards and assessment techniques, appropriate teaching strategies and content renewal in order to ensure that all staff are well-prepared and required to meet the academic needs of all students, regardless of race.
. At the school level, professional staff shall adapt the curriculum to each school's magnet or other individual school program or focus in order to ensure the continued desegregation of student enrollments by voluntary choice under EIP I.
. The standards shall be shared with parents, students and the community;
. The progress of students in meeting the standards shall be monitored with a goal of ensuring equal educational opportunities and promoting equity in educational performance for all students in YPS.
II. STAFF SUPPORTS
In order to provide equality of opportunity for student learning and performance based on the above standards, teachers trained to demonstrate the same high expectations for minority and non-minority students and prepared with the skills and resources to help all children reach those expectations are necessary. Accordingly, the actions described below shall be taken in the areas of hiring and mentoring new teachers, staff development, and staff supervision and evaluation to prepare teachers to provide appropriate instruction for all students regardless of race or ethnicity. A basic skills program and information rich classrooms also shall be provided to ensure that teachers have the supports necessary to implement appropriate instructional practices to meet the needs of all students in YPS and, in particular, the needs of minority students which historically have not been adequately addressed.
A. Hiring and Mentoring New Teachers
To ensure that teachers new to YPS will contribute to promoting equality of opportunities for all students, and will not accept or perpetuate vestiges of segregation in YPS, the Yonkers Board and District staff shall undertake the following:
. Targeted early recruitment efforts to identify qualified teachers, including qualified minority teachers, with in-service or pre-service training or expertise in working with minority and LEP students.
. Efforts to facilitate the hiring of teachers capable of addressing the needs of minority students in heterogeneous, multicultural classrooms by working with teacher training institutions in identifying appropriate preservice course content and by providing training opportunities within the District through professional development schools and internships.
. Development and implementation of a mentorship program for new teachers designed to promote the understanding and active participation of those teachers in meeting the goals of this remedy and to deter perpetuation of inappropriate attitudes and practices traceable to the prior dual system.
. Ongoing staff development for new teachers during their first three years of employment in YPS, including human relations training and training in instructional techniques necessary for teaching diverse populations.
B. Professional Development
(1) In order to ensure that all staff members, including the many veteran teachers who have worked in YPS since prior to implementation of the EIP I remedy, are prepared to implement standards and to provide instruction that equitably meets all students' needs, regardless of race or ethnicity, professional development training will be provided to all staff members on a district level and a school-based level. Because of the systemic nature of the problems being addressed, all staff will be required to attend professional development activities appropriate for their position under this Order. Professional development activities under this Order shall be provided in a manner and at sufficient times and places so that mandatory participation in those activities can be accomplished.
(2) Professional development shall be provided at the District and school levels through summer institutes, staff development sessions during the school year, and in professional development classrooms. Professional development shall include the following activities, many of which are further discussed elsewhere in this Order:
. District -level staff development for Teaching and Learning, including effective alignment of curriculum and assessments to standards, creating and using alternative assessment to inform instruction, instructional techniques for facilitating student learning based on high standards;
. School-based professional development for Teaching and Learning including child development, inquiry-based teaching, multicultural curriculum, language acquisition for second language learners, teaching strategies for special needs students, connection of home, school and community experiences in a multicultural context;
. Development activities to support curriculum implementation based on high standards for all students, which includes training in teaching strategies and curriculum content;
. District-level and school-based Human Relations Training designed to raise teacher expectations for minority students (e.g., TESA and Efficacy) and diversity training designed to promote understanding of individual student needs and improve interpersonal relations among diverse groups, including training related to student rights and responsibilities, conflict resolution, and behavior management to ensure equitable treatment of minorities in the disciplinary process and positive school climate;
. Administrative staff development for effective hiring, supervision and evaluation;
. Staff Development for Pupil Personnel in areas such as student diversity, student rights and responsibilities, the use of pupil support teams, standards and their implications for counseling, the assessment of student capabilities, and modes of learning;
. Expansion of conflict resolution and peer mediation programs to all schools and provide student leadership training; and
. Technology Support, including instruction on the use of technology in the classroom as an instructional and assessment tool:
Consistent with the parameters established by this Order, program funding for staff development may vary depending on each school's individual needs, but the following staffing resources shall be provided:
. Staff resource libraries at each school;
. During the initial implementation of EIP II, staff development assistance at each implementing elementary school that is equivalent to a curriculum staff developer, a human relations developer and a technology staff developer, (each of whom shall be assigned on a half-time basis), and staff development assistance at each secondary school that is equivalent to a three-person team concentrating on the same three areas; after the initial three year implementation is completed, staff development assistance equivalent to one staff member at each school; and
. A pool of substitute teachers to be made available to those schools undergoing initial implementation of EIP II to provide consistent and effective coverage of classes so that teachers may attend professional development activities, including school visitations, as necessary during school hours.
C. Staff Supervision and Evaluation
The success of this Order in remedying the vestiges of segregation in YPS will depend in significant part on the effective supervision and evaluation of staff to ensure that they provide instruction and otherwise conduct themselves in school in a manner consistent with the staff development and other provisions of EIP II. In order to equip administrators to achieve these objectives, they shall be provided with professional development in supervision and evaluation with a specific focus on conditions this Court has identified as vestiges. A supervision and evaluation model to allow administrators to support staff in implementing EIP II also shall be developed. Evaluation parameters to support professional practices in line with EIP II shall be established. The Yonkers Board shall establish evaluation procedures that will ensure effective implementation of the provisions and goals of EIP II.
D. Basic Skills Program
Basic skills programs in reading, writing and math shall be implemented at each school as a tool for ensuring that all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, receive instruction appropriate to their needs and to provide them with an equal opportunity to meet the academic standards to be established in these core areas. Such programs also shall be designed to address existing achievement and performance gaps among minority and non-minority students, which this Court has found are consequences of segregation and its vestiges in YPS. Basic skills programs shall be established on both the elementary and secondary levels. These programs shall ensure that teachers are able to use instructional strategies and assessment techniques that allow for different learning styles and needs rather than focusing principally on the needs of majority students.
1. Elementary Basic Skills Program : The following supports shall be provided in order to implement a strong basic skills program at the elementary level:
. Professional development in knowledge and skill development in basic literacy based on a balanced reading program for all principals, assistant principals, classroom teachers, reading teachers and ESOL teachers;
. Pursuant to the above provisions on staff development, school-based staff developers or consultants to provide training and coaching in early literacy and mathematics to classroom teachers;
. Necessary materials to implement a basic skills program, such as appropriate books, computer software, database access and a computer lab in each school;
. Reading Recovery or another research-based reading program, at each elementary school for students in need of specific reading supports at early grade levels; and.
. Other targeted student supports, including tutorials as appropriate, for students not meeting expected standards and students entering grade levels at which State-mandated assessments are administered.
2. Secondary Basic Skills Program : The following supports shall be provided in order to implement a basic skills program on the secondary level:
. Elimination of general or low track high school courses;
. Implementation of the Equity 2000 program or a program that accomplishes similar objectives of encouraging successful completion by all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, of rigorous academic courses and provision of other necessary student supports to allow all secondary level students to complete Sequential Math I and II by the end of the tenth grade;
. Reinstatement of the Johns Hopkins Summer Skills Reinforcement Program or a program that accomplishes similar objectives;
. Information and services on career and college preparation in order to enhance student motivation; and
. Other targeted student supports, including as appropriate, tutorials for students not meeting expected standards and students who have yet to successfully complete state-mandated assessments.
E. Information Rich Classrooms
(1) Information rich classrooms, as discussed in EIP II, are required for the District to meet the educational needs of all its students in desegregated classrooms. The District shall have available and provide equitable access to materials that are necessary and appropriate to support effective instruction and learning for all students in YPS, including, textbooks, library materials, computers, laboratory facilities and equipment and other instructional materials for inquiry such as manipulatives and audio-visual materials.
(2) To the extent a school does not already have such materials, each elementary school shall be provided with the following resources in a manner consistent with the needs of its student population:
. Appropriate fiction and nonfiction books, books on tape, creative writing materials, science materials, math manipulatives with problem solving activities, calculators and computers with a variety of interactive software;
. Instructional materials that have a non-biased, multi-cultural focus;
. Networked computers in classrooms for instructional use;
. Dedicated space and appropriate resources to enable the teacher to demonstrate material to a small group or whole class, using authentic materials through multi-media approach; and
. Books and materials in English, Spanish and other appropriate languages in classrooms and school libraries.
Secondary schools shall be provided with the following resources in a manner consistent with their individual needs:
. Appropriate books, primary source materials, audio-visual materials, computers and multi-media software, materials in the areas of reading, mathematics, writing, critical thinking, social studies, science and language;
. Technology support at the classroom level and direct access for teachers on a variety of networks, including four networked computers and a teacher demonstration center in each core classroom; and
. Five technology sites to be established by the Yonkers Board throughout the District to provide students with equitable access to computer technology outside the school day.
(3) Teachers also shall be provided professional development support in the use of materials and technology in activity-based, student-centered learning that will allow them to better meet the needs of minority students.
III. STUDENT SUPPORTS
In order to overcome continuing vestiges and unequal educational opportunities, and to provide students with the supports necessary to offer equal opportunities for successful learning, the following steps shall be taken:
A. Expanded Prekindergarten
Full-day prekindergarten shall be made available to all preschool students in the District whose parents wish them to attend, in order to assist all students to enter school ready to learn, to reinforce uniform teacher expectations for all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, and to decrease unnecessary or inappropriate referrals to special education. Expansion of the pre-kindergarten program under this Order shall promote the dual goals of providing service to those children most in need of early childhood educational opportunities and of maintaining racial/ethnic desegregation of enrollment in the program.
B. Personalization of Schools
Greater personalization of schools and instruction shall be provided in YPS to meet the needs of diverse groups of students and reinforce appropriate teacher attitudes and practices. The following specific steps towards greater personalization shall be taken:
1. Student/Teacher Ratios: Personalization of instruction shall be provided in part through lower student to teacher ratios. To the extent permitted by facilities and other constraints, staffing levels will be increased to a level to allow for one teacher and a trained teaching assistant for every 18 students in primary grade classes (pre-kindergarten through grade 1); one teacher for every 22 students in grade 2 and 3 classes; one teacher for every 25 student in grades 4-6 classes; and one teacher for every 25 students in academic classroom settings and a total "teacher load" of 100 students during the school day for grades 7 through 12. Changes in class size shall be phased in so that, to the extent practical, children already enrolled in a school will not be displaced.
The Yonkers Board shall develop a plan for identification of facilities or space, and make a determination of the need to hire additional teachers and staff to facilitate the above reductions in student to teacher ratios. Development of this plan shall be a part of the submission called for pursuant to P VI(2) of this Order. Professional development training shall be provided to teachers specifically to assist them in developing and utilizing instructional strategies designed to promote individualized instruction and equal opportunity for students in the context of reduced class sizes or teacher loads.
2. Alternative Organizational, Scheduling and Multi-year Assignment Options : At the elementary school level, options will be developed and implemented to permit teachers to teach students over a period of two or more years. Professional development opportunities shall be provided to staff regarding organizational options, restructuring of scheduling and multi-year classes or teacher assignments as options for enhanced personalization. For schools that choose or are required to change their organizational structure, schedule or assignment process, staff development and other planning resources shall be provided regarding implementation of these changes to all administrators and teachers and other professional staff. Additional resources needed to fully implement these changes shall be provided to the school or class.
3. Advisor/Advocates : The District will design and implement a program that will provide each student with a professional staff advisor/advocate to ensure that no student becomes a victim of bias or neglect and that all students have the opportunity to succeed. No staff member shall be assigned more than approximately 12 students. Pupil personnel staff members shall be assigned to assist each teacher with his or her group of students.
4. Enhanced Pupil Personnel Services : Pupil personnel services shall be enhanced in order to assist staff in fully understanding and equitably meeting the learning needs of individual students from all backgrounds. The following steps shall be taken to achieve this goal:
. Each elementary school shall have access to a Pupil Service Team consisting of a school psychologist, social worker, nurse and counselor. Multiple teams shall be provided at the secondary school level based on the number of students in each school, such that the number of teams and staff of each type are sufficient to meet the needs of students in the school. The Pupil Service Team will work with teachers to meet the needs of students and to support greater equity in the provision of educational services and in student performance, consistent with the goals of EIP II.
. Student Assistance Counseling Services shall be expanded at all junior high schools and high schools.
. Schools shall strive to engage community based organizations and/or social agencies to provide services in the school during the school day and after school.
. The existing Alternative Program shall be expanded to include a program at the Junior High School or Middle School level.
C. Supports for Limited English Proficient Students
Approximately 40 percent of students currently enrolled in YPS are Hispanic, a disproportionate number of whom are identified in accordance with State regulations as having limited English proficiency ("LEP"). As part of the segregated and unequal system of schools that historically existed in Yonkers, YPS has never had programs adequate to address the educational needs of Hispanic and, in particular, LEP students. In order to meet the needs and support equitable performance in school of LEP students, the following supports shall be provided:
. Diagnostic assessment of students new to the District, as needed, to determine level of current language and academic proficiency;
. A newcomer program to ensure appropriate services are provided for students new to this country;
. A double period of English as second language instruction for all beginning English speakers who would benefit from such service;
. Sheltered content instruction without native language support for students who have achieved at least an advanced level of English comprehension;
. Appropriate materials in the native language of all LEP students;
. Staffing levels that allow for one ESOL teacher for approximately, every 50 ESOL students;
. Additional developers in Bilingual and English as a Second Language Instruction to provide staff development to teachers throughout the District in instructional methodologies for teaching LEP students;
D. Extended Learning Time
Schools will provide students with opportunities for extended day, extended week, and/or extended year instructional time if they need additional instruction at the elementary level in basic skills or at the secondary level if they need additional instruction in order to keep pace with the standards and courses called for by this Order. Based on experience gained in implementing this Order, the Yonkers Board shall identify and provide appropriate extended learning time opportunities to augment or complement the other provisions of this remedy.
IV. FAMILY SUPPORTS
A. Parent/School Communications
In order to overcome barriers to greater parental involvement created by EIP I, particularly for minority parents and parents whose children attend magnet schools away from the communities in which they reside, the following steps shall be taken to facilitate communication between parents and schools:
1. Parent Survey : The District shall design, disseminate and analyze a survey seeking input from parents and the community regarding methods for improvement of Yonkers schools.
2. Family Centers : Family Centers similar to those already in existence in some schools in Yonkers shall be established as needed in other schools. The Family Centers shall have parent aides trained to work with families by providing training in areas such as family literacy.
3. Parent Training in Learning and Development : Parents shall be provided opportunities as appropriate to be trained to assist in their child's learning process through home-based or family center-based programs. Parents of pre-school students shall be provided opportunities for training in early learning activities and techniques through programs like Even Start. In addition, the HIPPY program will be expanded to all schools with pre-kindergarten programs. Parents of students in the first through eighth grades shall be provided opportunities to participate in programs designed to involve parents in student learning in math such as Family Math and TIPS.
4. Homework Hotline : A homework hotline shall be provided in each school to allow parents to call for daily messages from their child's teacher regarding homework and other important information.
V. DISTRICT SUPPORTS
The District shall be provided the necessary supports to implement fully, sustain, evaluate and monitor EIP II. Additional staff or resources shall be made available at the Central Office level:
. Expansion of the District's current student data collection and analysis capabilities;
. Additional technology experts and a network engineer to support additional technology in the buildings;
. Additional personnel recruiters and staff;
. Additional support in the finance department; and
. An outside evaluator to design an EIP II evaluation system and monitor the programs' outcomes and inputs.
The Court Monitor, after receiving recommendations from the parties, shall recommend to the Court, who shall be designated to serve as the outside evaluator and to furnish further details with respect to the jurisdiction of the outside evaluator, frequency of reports, compensation and other related issues.
The evaluation process will monitor progress made under this Order in eliminating vestiges by monitoring achievement gaps between minority and non-minority students, disparate suspension rates for minority and non-minority students, disparate referrals to special education, disparate graduation rates, under-representation of minority students in high level classes, and low numbers of minority students receiving Regents Diplomas and attending college. Qualitative evaluation of the conditions and practices affecting these indicators or student outcomes shall also be performed and the results submitted to the Court Monitor and the parties no less frequently than annually. The types of data and the questions for evaluation shall be consistent will those outlined in EIP II and with the goals of this Order.
1. It is not feasible to implement fully the additional relief provided in this Order simultaneously in all of the public schools in Yonkers. For that reason, the Yonkers Board has proposed beginning full implementation of EIP II in approximately eight schools in 1998-99 and continuing with full implementation in additional schools in subsequent years until implementation is complete. The Yonkers Board has represented to the Court that it will explore ways and take all available steps to expedite full implementation of EIP II in all schools at the earliest feasible date. Consistent with that proposal and representation, the Court directs that the steps set forth herein shall be taken.
2. Within 14 weeks after the entry of this Order, the Yonkers Board shall present to the Court Monitor and the other parties a budget for implementing the EIP II remedy, consistent with the above provisions of this Order, for the 1998-99 school year. That budget shall include or reflect the following: (i) an identification of those schools in which the Yonkers Board will begin full implementation of EIP II in 1998-99; (ii) for each of the schools so identified, a more specific determination of how the various components of EIP II will be implemented beginning in 1998-99, consistent with the above provisions of this Order, with the more specific determinations to be made with input of the administrators, other professional staff, and parents of the school in question, subject to review and approval of the Superintendent of Schools and the Yonkers Board; (iii) for the remaining schools not so identified, a specific determination of what steps will be taken during the 1998-99 school year to promote the objectives of this Order and to prepare those schools for full implementation of the EIP II remedy in future years; (iv) a more specific determination of how the provisions of this Order relating to District supports and District-wide activities will be implemented during the 1998-99 school year; and (v) the funding that will be required for implementing various components of this Order during 1998-99.
3. Any party that wishes to submit to the Court Monitor written comments on or objections to the EIP II budget for 1998-99 may do so within ten days of its receipt. The Court Monitor will then undertake to resolve any questions or disagreements raised by any party through discussion. The Court strongly urges the parties to work cooperatively and with the Monitor to resolve any issues and to permit prompt implementation of this Order.
4. On or before March 31, 1998, the Monitor shall forward to the Court the Yonkers Board's EIP II budget for 1998-99, reflecting any agreed upon changes made as a result of comments of other parties and discussions with the Monitor. The Monitor also shall provide the Court at that time with recommendations on the resolution of any issues pertaining to the budget on which the parties remain in disagreement. The Monitor further shall provide the Court with a recommendation as to how the implementation of EIP II shall be funded. To the extent necessary, the Monitor may receive evidence or additional submissions in order to facilitate his recommendations.
5. Upon receipt of the Yonkers Board's EIP II budget for 1998-99 and the Monitor's recommendations, the Court will enter an Order providing for the funding of the remedy. Although a decision on the appropriate funding of the additional remedy will not be made until receipt of the Monitor's recommendations, the instant Order is a full and final adjudication of the scope of the additional desegregation remedy needed to eliminate vestiges of segregation in YPS to the extent practicable.
6. The Court anticipates that the process for planning, comment, discussion, recommendations, and decision described above with respect to 1998-99 will resolve most if not all issues relating to future implementation and funding of EIP II. Thus, the Court anticipates that in future years the State will be able to work together with the City and the Yonkers Board, consistent with the normal processes for education planning and budgeting, to provide for the continued implementation of EIP II. To assist and ensure the prompt completion of the implementation process in future years, the Yonkers Board will present to the Court Monitor and the parties a budget for implementing the programmatic components of EIP II in the upcoming school year by December 31 of each year. If any party notifies the Court Monitor within ten days of receiving the budget of an issue on which it may wish to seek further direction from the Court, the Monitor shall establish a schedule that allows for discussion and any further recommendations by the Monitor to the Court on or before January 31 of the year. Again, the Court strongly urges the parties to work together to minimize the extent to which further direct involvement by the Court is required.
7. Within 14 weeks of the entry of this Order, the Yonkers Board shall prepare a separate plan that sets forth how the capital facilities needs associated with implementation of EIP II will be met during the 1998-99, 1999-2000, and 2000-01 school years. Once completed, copies of that capital facilities plan shall be served on all of the parties to this action and provided to the Court Monitor. The Court Monitor shall establish a schedule for the receipt of written comments and, if necessary, the receipt of additional evidence or argument concerning the capital facilities plan. On or before March 31, 1998, the Court Monitor shall provide the Court with a report and recommendations on how the capital facilities needs associated with the implementation of EIP II should be provided for during the next three school years. Any additional future capital facilities needs relating to this Order shall be raised in the first instance with the Monitor and brought to the attention of the Court as necessary.
8. Beginning immediately upon the entry of this Order, the Yonkers Board shall begin and/or expedite efforts to develop curricula needed for the effective implementation of EIP II instructional programs, as called for in the above provisions. In a number of areas, such curricula must be ready by the beginning of the 1998-99 school year in order for implementation of EIP II to begin next year. The Yonkers Board also shall begin immediately to put in place the staff recruitment and selection component discussed above, so that the District can begin to realize the advantages of that component in supporting the objectives of the expanded remedy in 1998-99. Finally, the Yonkers Board shall take steps to prepare for the introduction of additional technology in schools as called for by this Order. The initiation of these activities cannot await even the completion of the 1998-99 budget discussed above.
9. It is undisputed that planning activities required to prepare the EIP II budget for 1997-98 and the capital facilities plan as well as the immediate initiation of the EIP II components identified in the preceding paragraph will require substantial resources. The State's own witnesses have testified to the significant efforts that will be required to undertake and complete these activities in an effective manner. The Court has accepted Superintendent Marra's undisputed testimony, based upon work of his staff, that the efforts required in these areas over the next 14 weeks will necessitate the expenditure of approximately $ 450,000, most of which will be for teacher and staff work outside normal hours. The Court further has accepted Superintendent Marra's testimony that the Yonkers Board does not currently have available in its budget sufficient funding to support these activities.
10. Accordingly, and because the State has not yet provided any funding or resources specifically dedicated to implementing the desegregation remedy in this case, the Court hereby orders the State, within 10 days of the entry of this Order, to make available to the Yonkers Board funding in the amount of $ 450,000 to support the activities that the Court has ordered the YBE to undertake within the next 14 weeks. The State may establish appropriate mechanisms to satisfy itself and the Court that the funding provided pursuant to this paragraph is used for the purposes set forth in this Order. Such mechanisms shall not, however, delay access by the Yonkers Board to the funding in question or otherwise impede the YBE in carrying out the requirements of this Order.
11. In the event that any appellate court shall stay the direction to the State contained in paragraph VI(10) hereof, then the City of Yonkers shall provide the funding for this planning process without prejudice to the right of the City to seek refund of some or all of such funds when said stay is lifted. The planning called for in the proceeding paragraph shall, in any event, go forward.
12. The evidence before the Court suggests that, as the parties move forward with implementation of EIP II, experience may lead to the identification of beneficial refinements or adjustments that should be made in the remedy. This is to be expected in light of the systemic nature of the vestiges of segregation that exist in YPS and the resulting dynamic nature of the remedy. To facilitate such refinements and adjustments in EIP II, any party shall be permitted to seek modification of the provisions of this Order as further provided herein.
13. If the Yonkers Board or any other party identifies a desired refinement or adjustment to the remedy that would require modification of this Order, it shall notify the Court Monitor and the other parties in writing of the refinement or adjustment and of the provision of this Order that it requests be modified. If no party submits a written objection to the Court Monitor within ten days of service of the said notice, then the Monitor shall forward the notice to the Court, and the Yonkers Board shall be free to make the desired refinement or adjustment. If one or more parties submits a written objection to the requested modification, then the Court Monitor shall schedule discussions and proceedings, as appropriate, and, upon completion, forward to the Court a report and recommendation on how any remaining disagreement among the parties should be resolved.
14. This Order represents a final and appealable determination by this Court of the scope of the additional remedy needed to eliminate to the extent practicable the vestiges of the prior dual school system that this Court has found continue to exist in YPS.
The Clerk is directed to enter in the docket of the Court a final judgment consistent with this Order.
Dated: New York, New York
October 8, 1997
Leonard B. Sand