Here's what I would have said during the public comment period of the PEP today, had there been a public comment:
I have a letter to pass out that I intended to present at the PEP meeting on the executive budget, which I sent to the Chancellor on May 27, bearing on DOE mandated, school-based expenses, which in the interests of time I will now only pass out. [The letter, signed by over 70 parents and public officials, asked the DOE to consider, in light of painful impending cuts to school budgets, the suspension or relocation of centrally mandated expenses and services--such as G&T testing and centralized periodic assessments--that impact school budgets and staff. It also recommended the temporary suspension of some centrally funded programs--such as Progress Reports and Learning Environment Surveys--to free up funds for instruction.]
I will simply say what scarcely needs mentioning, that if there were ever a demonstration that this body is little more than a name in a statute--indeed it is not even that!--a vote on an $18 billion budget with serious consequences for our city schools that takes place in secrecy, in an undisclosed location, with no announced agenda, would be it. I hope our legislators in Albany are taking note of the complete acquiescence of this body, which incidentally includes seven appointed public school parents, to this state of affairs.