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Friday, May 6, 2011

Bloomberg's New Budget Proposal

In the face of continually rising class sizes, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced his plan to decrease the number of public school teachers in New York City by 6,000. (See stories and commentary here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Meanwhile, as reality-based educator points out, increases in proposed expenditures for consultants and outside vendors show up in the budget lines for "Contractual Services General" and "Professional Services."

City Comptroller John Liu was quoted at NY Daily News decrying the apparent lack of concern for the millions of dollars the city has lost to crooks due to lack of oversight. One example of that is here, a story in which an outside contractor billed New York City 600% more for its services than it payed its employees to perform them. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, in the same NY Daily News blog post, advocated in favor of more transparency, not less, in the city's spending.

Despite options available that might avoid teacher layoffs, the Bloomberg administration, for one reason or another, believes layoffs are in the best interest of New York City. In order to come to that conclusion, what must one believe? It seems to me that it must be one or more of four things: 1) spending your money on consultants and vendors will have more benefits than spending it on teachers, 2) the negative effects of larger class sizes are not significant, 3) there are more important things to spend our money on than education, or 4) public education is not very important.

Whether you like it or not, this is a nationwide, and, indeed, worldwide trend. I receieved an email this morning, as I'm sure many bloggers did, asking me to share the below infographic on education spending across the country. I think it's worth looking at.


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To what degree is public education a zero-sum game? What will the consequences of this trend be a decade from now? Will those with drive and determination from disadvantaged communities overcome our disinclination to support them? Given the predominant social ethos, does it even matter?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for bringing this unfortunate political plan in NYC to light. Keep up the posts!

    ReplyDelete