Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The mayor's unconscionable cuts and where more than $1 billion could be found
Options for reducing DoE’s budget without touching the classroom
· $23 million: cancel (or do not renew) contracts w/ McGraw Hill and Scantron for Acuity, or interim assessments. These contracts end in Aug. 2011 and most parents, teachers and even principals think they are worthless.
· $4 million: cut contracts with TFA and New Teacher Project and instead retrain current teachers for licenses in shortage areas.
· $400 million: cut the projected increase in spending on private contracts and consultants by two thirds
· $2 million: cut back on the growth in Children First Network and cluster staff
· $15 million: moratorium on opening new schools.
· $15 million: freeze spending for central administration
· $21 million: freeze spending on technology
· $9 million: reduce contract spending on professional development by using in house staff
· $100 million: Charge co-located charter schools for the space and services that the city now provides in DOE buildings for free. (note: some of these are overlapping)
Total: up to $600 M dollars in savings.
Tap into City Reserve Funds
· $200 million: The proposed 2012 budget has a general reserve fund of $300 million ($200 million more than the legal minimum.).
· $200 million: $2 billion is currently in the health care reserve fund; $200 to $300 million more could be withdrawn from this optional fund.
Total: At least $400 million.
· $450 million: Do not let state’s millionaire tax lapse, and/or impose one in NYC (needs state approval)
· $65 million: Extend the Mortgage Recording Tax to coop apartments (needs state approval but even the Mayor supports this one)
· $100 million in FY 12; $275 million to $400 million in subsequent years: Gradually raise Cap on Property Tax Assessment Increases (requires state approval)
· $300 million: Extend the General Corporation Tax to Insurance Company Business Income (requires state approval)
· $200 million: End the Unincorporated Business Tax exemption for hedge fund profit (requires state approval)
· $120 million: Big Six banks have over $600 million in current contracts with NYC for services – these could be cut back by 20% when students are facing the loss of so many teachers and programs.
Total: At least $1.2 billion, but most would need state approval; more realistic options for next year.