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Monday, April 7, 2008

Dan Brown on the proposed budget cuts; how our schools will suffer

Great commentary by Dan Brown re the proposed budget cuts to our schools in the Huffington Post, which the Mayor touts as inevitable, but in reality are anything but:

“…Mayor Bloomberg took a blasé attitude towards the mid-year cuts, saying the disappeared funds would have "no impact whatsoever," adding, "I know of no organization where you couldn't squeeze out 1.7 percent, or even a lot more."

The CEO mayor's logic may work in terms keeping a company's stock price afloat despite "belt-tightening" or lay-offs, but it doesn't fit one bit for schools. Erasing vital programs and personnel will incontrovertibly have an effect, and a terrible one at that -- especially for our most vulnerable, at-risk students. Meanwhile, the city is giving a 9% raise to its high-priced international consultants and maintaining an excessive, expensive regime of standardized testing….

Among the likely effects he highlights:

“…working in poorly resourced schools will disillusion new teachers even faster and thus keep increasing New York City's absurdly high and costly teacher attrition rate. With budget cuts pushing class sizes to the maximum (34), nearly every middle- and high-school teacher will have an astounding 170 students per semester -- a recipe for accelerated burnout. With more and more fledgling teachers running under-funded, overcrowded classes, students will suffer.

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