Monday, March 31, 2014

Three Reasons Why the State Budget Isn't As Bad As It Looks

Activists are up in arms. The press has declared de Blasio got creamed and Eva is the true winner this year (put herself a governor right there in her back pocket,s he did. Yes she did!). Nevertheless, here are three reasons why the new state budget isn't as bad as it seems.

1. New funds for pre-k. There are 694 school districts in New York State. 693 of these districts must pay for Universal Pre-K from their own budget if they wish to offer it. One of those districts gets it for free. That district? The the New York City Department of Education. $300 million in new funds. Great job BDB

2. The city pays no actual money for charters. There is a lot of fury over the city paying rent for charters schools. The fact of the matter is that every dime NYC must pay (and the city must pay), the being provided by state.. If you take all of the new funds the city is getting (above and beyond what the city is going to receive for UPK) you'll find more than $40 million in new funds to pay for these. Andy wanted to please Eva? Fine. But Andy is the one who is pleasing Eva. The city isn't doing that with its own money. 

3. More than enough money for a raise With the new commitment of new funds, the city coffers are now in a position to dole out the dough for a teacher (and administrator) raise. No one is talking about that right now. They will perhaps never discuss it. But the fact remains, that the city is committing no new funds to anything edu related this year -except our raise. 

Now watching charters win more protections here than anywhere else in the nation was an extraordinarily painful thing to watch. But I happen to think that people who support traditional public schools have yet to come face to face with a painful reality: That traditional districts and leaders have failed to connect with, and even serve, the disaffected communities that charters say they seek to serve. We who support the traditional public schools don't deserve to get rid of charters unless we grapple with that reality. I am of the opinion that we sort of deserve to have a few of those painful moments until we do.

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