**Lower Manhattan Schools Get Less, Give More, and Score High**

Six Lower Manhattan public elementary schools with a combined budget of $49.2 million spend an aggregate of $4.8 million less on their pupils than the citywide average, according to Department of Education (DOE) budget data for each school.

The DOE says average spending for all schools across the five boroughs is $21,112 per student. Among the six local elementary schools (P.S. 89, P.S./I.S. 276, P.S. 150, P.S. 234, the Spruce Street School, and the Peck Slip School), only P.S. 89 exceeds this baseline, spending $23,972 per student, which translates to 14 percent (or $2,860) more for each of its 300 enrollees. Its total budget is $7.2 million per year.

Among the remaining five, P.S. 150 (in the Financial District) is the thriftiest school, spending $18,803 on each of 215 students (against a budget of $3.5 million), or 24 percent below the City-wide average (which works out to $2,309 less per child). At Tribeca’s P.S.234, where the overall budget is $9.5 million, $19,542 is allocated to each of the 487 children, which represents a drawdown of $1,570 per child (or seven percent less per child).

Battery Park City’s P.S./I.S. 276 has a budget of $14.7 million, of which it spends $18,644 on each of its 790 students, or $2,468 (12 percent) less per pupil. Peck Slip, in the Seaport District is allocated a total budget of just under $6 million for 324 students, which comes to $18,458 per child (or 13 percent less than the norm). And the Spruce Street School (also in the Seaport District) has a budget of $8.4 million to educate 445 children, which breaks out to $18,803 per child. This is $2,309 (or 11 percent) less than the average for all New York City elementary students.

But even while generally spending less than their peers, the half dozen elementary schools in Lower Manhattan score remarkable academic results. Although the average rates among all New York City public school students for meeting New York State standards in English and math are 50 and 52 percent, respectively, students at P.S. 89 crossed these thresholds at rates of 83 and 90 percent. For those enrolled in P.S. 150, 88 and 90 percent met the same benchmarks. At P.S. 234, students meet testing standards at the rate of 85 percent in English and 78 percent in math. Children attending P.S./I.S. 276 achieved these goals in 84 and 89 percent of all cases. Peck Slip notched 75 percent in English and 77 percent in math, while Spruce Street kids collectively scored 84 percent and 80 percent.

This incongruity may be explained, in part, by funding that comes from parents. A separate DOE dataset from the 2021-2022 academic year (the most recent for which figures are available), documents that Parent Teacher Associations at these schools are prodigious contributors. At P.S. 89, where spending exceeds the City-wide norm by $858,000, parents raised slightly more than $750,000. While P.S. 150 gets by on approximately $1 million less than it would be allocated if it received the City-wide average per student, families contributed $202,000. For P.S. 234, the corresponding figure was $476,111. At P.S./I.S. 276 (where total spending is almost $2 million below the benchmark implied by City-wide allocations per child), the PTA ended the year with slightly more than three quarters of a million dollars on hand. And at Peck Slip, the PTA’s total income for the year was $272,528. (No figures were available for the Spruce Street School.)