While the new plan would provide money to schools and require principals to cover payroll and other expenses, Ms. Connell said in an interview that she preferred a system that seeks to calculate a school's staffing needs and then provides the dollars to meet them.
''The funding proposals,'' she wrote in commentary posted on the group's Web site, ''have the potential to do lasting damage for decades to come.'' In the interview, Ms. Connell also said the chancellor did not have time to carry out the plan before the end of Mr. Bloomberg's term in 2009. ''They won't be around to suffer the consequences,'' she said.
Robert Gordon, the Education Department's managing director for resource allocation, who is designing the new system, said it would maximize the amount of control that principals have over their budgets, allowing them ''to retain their most experienced teachers if that is what they want to do.''
Why should the school funding system be designed to force principals to choose between hiring or retaining experienced teachers and smaller classes – when these are among the few factors that have been proven to result in better schools ? Do public schools in the suburbs have to choose between these goals, or the private schools to which Klein and Bloomberg sent their kids?
The only thing incorrect about Noreen Connell’s predictions in 2007 is that we may be saddled with Chancellor Klein for years to come, because of Bloomberg’s overturning of term limits. Robert Gordon has now moved onto the Obama administration, where he is probably designing similarly destructive funding schemes on a national scale. Sadly, the Educational Priorities Panel, one of the few objective monitors of DOE’s spending practices, is gone, apparently because the NYC foundation world didn’t see the point in supporting the sort of expert analysis that EPP was able to provide.