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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

School Budget Update

The press is being briefed today and principals will hear tomorrow at a 5:00 pm meeting. A letter released to principals had lots of spin but a few details:
  • $99 million in cuts will be passed on to schools.
  • $200 million will be cut centrally. While that sounds good, keep in mind that "central" cuts may mean in-school programs or services may be cut if schools don't pick up the costs.
  • Fair Student Funding will be used to allocate funds. The hold harmless provisions which prevented dramatic cuts to some schools will be maintained.
  • Nevertheless, cuts to some schools could be up to 6%.
No word on when schools can see their actual budgets.

The mayor has been heavily criticized from across the political spectrum for failing to keep his commitments to the schools. It looks like the Bloomberg administration's current PR position will be to deflect criticism by saying the state has tied DOE's hands through the Contracts for Excellence process.

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