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December 17, 2008
Statewide ed programs also being cut, but the news isn't all bad
Gov. Paterson's cost-cutting proposal yesterday didn't just ask local school districts to reduce their budgets. It also took a knife to education programs that are funded by the state. The Buffalo News today reported on some of those statewide cuts: • Requiring districts to pay 15 percent of the cost of preschool special-education services. Those costs are now covered by the state and counties. • Delaying for at least two years planned increases in prekindergarten funding. • Eliminating $40 million for teacher development centers. • Scrapping a $10 million Teacher Mentor Intern Program, which allows veteran teachers to assist less-experienced colleagues. • Eliminating a $10 million fund that provided math and science programs of which students can avail themselves at colleges and universities. An important note about that second bullet point: Even though Gov. Paterson isn't increasing state pre-K funding, New York City could still see an increase in the number of children enrolled in universal pre-K programs.
December 16, 2008
How many millions is gov. really proposing city schools lose?
Philissa wrote that we were confused earlier today when Mayor Bloomberg said that Governor Paterson is actually proposing to cut on the order of $600 million from schools in the next fiscal year. The Daily News had reported a much lower figure this morning, $206 million. What are the true facts? The above chart shows, in billions of dollars, how much funding the state has sent to New York City public schools each school year from 2006-07 to the current one, 2008-09, and how much Governor Paterson's proposed budget would have it send in 2009-2010. The big increases up until 2009-2010 were not just big but historic, reflecting the settlement of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, which led to a plan to pour billions extra dollars into the city public schools over four years. The amount Governor Paterson is proposing to send 2009-2010, $8.1 billion, cuts both off of last year's total funding (by $280 million) and off of what the city had expected to get additionally in increases (almost $300 million, according to the mayor's office).
December 16, 2008
Imagining the scale of next year's school budget cuts
The Daily News reports this morning that Governor Paterson will propose cutting $206 million from the New York City schools. Mayor Bloomberg has already guess-timated his likely cut to the schools next year at $385 million. Both numbers are moving targets, changeable if the two executives' legislative bodies push to do so. (Recall that just a few months ago, the state legislature axed a plan by Paterson to cut state funding to schools in the middle of this school year.) But let's assume that the mayor and governor do get what they're asking for. That would be a grand total of $591 million slashed from city schools budgets in the 2009-2010 school year. We can get an extremely rough estimate of what that might look like on the ground by thinking about the cuts the mayor ordered in the middle of this school year. The cut, of $181 million, happened by eliminating 475 bureaucratic jobs; delaying or cutting a half-dozen or so small centrally administered programs; and slicing 1.3% from school budgets. If we scale each of these up by a factor of 3.2 (the amount by which $591 million is larger than $181 million), we get: 1,550 jobs cut from central
December 9, 2008
Governor says he'll consider Randi Weingarten for Senate
And he says that she contacted him. The Daily News reports: Paterson said Weingarten, who recently also became president of the…
December 8, 2008
Is Randi Weingarten in the running for Hillary's Senate seat?
PHOTO: Oliver MorrisonRandi Weingarten (via Flickr) Liz Benjamin reports that teachers union president Randi Weingarten has talked with Governor Paterson about possibly taking over Hillary Clinton's senate seat: Two sources confirm that "talks" have been had by the Paterson administration and Weingarten about whether she might be interested in joining the nation's most exclusive political club. O.M.G.!! This would allow a whole new who's-the-next-Weingarten search. But Liz deflates with this statement from Weingarten: UPDATE: Weingarten forwarded over a statement saying she is "very flattered and honored" to hear her name mentioned "given how many qualified candidates are under consideration to replace our great junior senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton," and adding: "However, I have a great new job that I am very engaged in - fighting for schools, kids and working people in the middle of the worst economic downturn of our lifetime." I'm very skeptical. I just got off the phone with a union insider who would almost definitely know if this was going to happen — and hadn't heard a thing. UPDATE. Weingarten's full statement is below the jump. Suddenly I get the feeling Weingarten does not want the story to die completely.
December 4, 2008
Three pushes to green the schools. But will the DOE join?
Councilman Bill deBlasio at PS 154, which stopped using Styrofoam trays this spring. Photo from ##http://gowanuslounge.blogspot.com/2008/03/pm-update-windsor-terrace-school-tosses.html##Gowanus Lounge## First Councilman Bill deBlasio waged war…
November 26, 2008
Rise & Shine: Wednesday, 11/26
Bad budget news: from Governor Paterson, talking to school leaders. (Daily News) Optimistic budget news: from Senator Schumer, talking about a possible federal bailout.
November 25, 2008
Campaign for Fiscal Equity's advice to Paterson: raise revenues
Lots of state education funding news today. First, Governor Paterson removed his proposal to enact mid-year cuts. From a letter he sent to school leaders today: While school aid reductions remain on the table, it is unlikely the Legislature will consider them any time soon. Therefore, we would be well into the final quarter of our fiscal year and even further into the school year before any action would likely occur. So mid-year is off the table, but Paterson says that means cuts next year will have to be much worse; the state simply cannot afford to ramp up school spending as it had been doing, he wrote. The Campaign for Fiscal Equity has already pushed out a response to this letter. The group, which led the 14-year-long lawsuit asking for more funding for New York City schools, asks Paterson to find ways to raise revenues before cutting budgets. One idea is to raise income taxes on wealthy New Yorkers. The full letter is below the jump, and for a review of all planned budget cuts, see my cheat sheet here.
November 13, 2008
Making sense of budget cuts: How much will go and when?
An annoying thing about budget cuts is that, in addition to being hands-down, no-question bad news, they are also usually completely obscure to the average human brain. How much will be cut? From whom? Starting when? There are so many unknowns that even paid budget experts have trouble explaining it. Here are six things we do know, after the jump:
October 28, 2008
Paterson describes new budget reality: No area won't be cut
Governor David Paterson answering reporters' questions at a less bleak time (via Flickr) That idea that NYSUT, the state teachers union, has been pushing,…
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