State Education Department

Monitoring Magnet School Grants

About $135 million in Magnet School grants are provided annually for 19 school districts in New York State, and the 19 districts are expected to use these funds in accordance with direction provided by the State Legislature and the State Education Department. According to direction provided by the Department, the grants were to be used to reduce racial segregation in elementary and secondary schools, and to promote educational excellence. We examined the extent to which these goals had been accomplished and found that, while racial segregation was dramatically reduced at some schools, it remained about the same or became even greater at other schools. We also found that grant funds were used in schools that may not have been eligible for the funds, as according to Department guidelines, the schools were not sufficiently segregated. We recommended that the Department establish a formal system for monitoring the extent to which the goals of Magnet School grants are accomplished by the school districts receiving the grants. We also recommended that the Department consider whether new initiatives are needed to address the persistence of racial segregation in public schools.

For a complete copy of Report 99-S-39 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.