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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Whose taking the Mayor's cuts? not those at Tweed

While the Mayor claims that his proposed cuts of more than $500 million over two years will have "no impact whatsoever" on our schools, see this Daily News article today: Teachers' furor over slashed budget about what the mid-year cuts are already doing to schools in Queens.

Some examples: larger classes, no money for substitute teachers so students have to sit in the auditorium with no teachers at all, elimination of academic intervention services. See also article in Sunday's NY Times, Citywide Scissors, Bloodletting in the Neighborhood, which reveals the devastating effects on class size and services at a school in Brooklyn, PS. 308.

On the impact on schools on Staten Island see here: Cuts clobber school programs.There's more from principals about the awful choices they are facing right now on the InsideSchools blog.

2. Meanwhile, see today’s NY Post: SCHOOLS COMPUTER AN $80M 'DISASTER' with teachers and principals unable to log into the superexpensive supercomputer. And NY1’s Mike Meenan reveals that DOE now admits to only cutting $15 million at headquarters – instead of $70 million as originally reported.

“There's really frustration that we're not seeing cuts at the bureaucracy level. The number they revealed today, $15 million, is quite small," said [Patrick] Sullivan, [Manhattan rep to the PEP]

The administration has also backtracked on their promise of a hiring freeze at Tweed. Instead, there’s something called a “head count reduction plan.” See Klein stumble on the NY 1 video while explaining what this means:

“Klein says that means taking a hard look before filling an open job at DOE headquarters "These vacancies can’t be filled until we need a critical assessment," said Klein.

Yeah, right. Incompetent administrators, supercomputers that don’t work, massive amounts spent on testing and “data inquiry teams” in every school without access to the data, while classes grow in size and kids have to make do without critical services. In reality, even the minimal $15 million Tweed now admits to cutting is partially illusory, since a good portion of these savings actually result from the failure of the contractor to produce all of the interim assessments on time.

I guess the Mayor is partly right: these cuts are likely to have “no impact whatsoever” on the overpaid “educrats” at Tweed. While in the suburbs, superintendents and school boards are planning to protect the quality of their kids' education by raising property taxes, here in NYC the administration would rather see schools cut back while protecting the bloated bureaucracy and reinstituting property tax breaks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a sub teacher and have never had a worse year in terms of getting work. Schools are hiring less subs or none at all. They say they are not spending money on subs right now. It is devistating. We have to look elsewhere for work.