Posts tagged "under the knife"
September 18, 2012
To make up for an unexpected budget shortfall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is bringing city agencies under the knife—and for the second year in a row, the Department of Education will not be spared from midyear cuts.
On Friday, Bloomberg announced that the city’s agencies would have to collectively cut $2 billion, and the department’s share in the burden would amount to 1.6 percent of its own budget this year, and 4 percent next year.
Last fall, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the central offices would take the brunt of midyear cuts, but he skirted the issue of the city’s budget shortfall, which numbered in the billions and portended more cuts for 2012. This year, the schools budget was held flat—a fact that was hailed as an improvement by city officials and councilmembers, but still felt like a cut to many educators, who saw the costs of supplies, special education services, and teacher salaries continue to rise.
As we reported last year, midyear budget cuts like the ones being prepared for now are especially disruptive to schools because most expenses are fixed for the whole year. That means that only certain costs, such as after-school programs or tutoring, can go on the chopping block. And four straight years of budget cuts have already left class sizes on the rise and principals struggling to make ends meet.
“If we’ve got to cut, we’re going to be very tight, midyear, which would be a shame,” one principal who asked not to be identified said this afternoon. (more…)