As I’m sure you’re aware, our public schools are facing a crisis this year over the possible layoff of more than 6,000 teachers. Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget proposes to cut one out of every 12 classroom teachers, citing a fiscal emergency. I believe this is a destructive and unnecessary move - a decision prompted more by City Hall politics than sound fiscal analysis.
Last week, when the Mayor’s Executive Budget was unveiled, I asked Budget Director Mark Page for details about the enormous amounts of money that the Department of Education (DOE) spends on consultants. He could not give me an adequate response. So I did my own research and what I found was astonishing: DOE is increasing its spending this year on outside consultants, a $54.4 million increase or 6% gain from FY 2011 levels, as part of a whopping $982,269,859 expenditure. At the same time, it is moving ahead with plans to lay off more than 6,000 teachers.
The DOE’s plans are typically presented in opaque language in budget documents, with little or no explanation, and therefore gathering this data is extremely challenging. I believe we can save all these jobs, at no extra cost to taxpayers, and the answer is smack dab in the Mayor’s budget. But it requires the Department of Education to come clean with New York residents about its budget and listen to parents across the City when they voice concerns about our schools. You can learn more about our analysis in this story in the NY Daily News. I am demanding answers from the DOE and will keep you posted on this situation.
You bet the DOE uses opaque language in budget documents - that's how they hide all the corruption.
Do you know Ron Paul's call to audit the Fed?
I think we need to have a call to audit the DOE.
Every part of the DOE.
Not just some of the contracts, as Comptroller John Liu is doing.
That's a great thing and I am pleased that Comptroller Liu has taken it upon himself to do this.
Because you can bet Bill Thompson, a man who never met a Bloomberg expenditure he wouldn't approve, wouldn't have.
But the more we see how much they're spending on stuff, even as they ready to lay off teachers, the more I am convinced that an independent audit of the DOE is needed.
And one more thing: mayoral control MUST be wrested from Bloomberg's crooked oligarch hands.
The oligarchy cannot hold.