Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, March 26, 2010

So That's Where The Money Is!

Chancellor Klein says he needs to layoff 8,500 teachers because his budget shortfall is so large.

But Juan Gonzalez in today's News informs us the city is wasting millions in fees and salaries for a failed payroll system that the mayor says has been a "disaster":

The city is paying some 230 "consultants" an average salary of $400,000 a year for a computer project that is seven years behind schedule and vastly over budget.

The payments continue despite Mayor Bloomberg's admission the computerized timekeeping and payroll system - called CityTime - is "a disaster."

Eleven CityTime consultants rake in more than $600,000 annually, with three of them making as much as $676,000, city records obtained under a Freedom of Information request show.

The 40 highest-paid people on the project bill taxpayers at least $500,000 a year. These enormous salaries are coming out of a $139 million extension to the CityTime contract that began July 1 and runs to Sept. 30.

Gonzalez says some of these "consultants" have been working for as long as ten years at these kinds of salaries.

Nice work if you can get it.

At any rate, there we have $139 million the city could take from paying these crooks at CityTime and use for schools.

See how easy this is getting more money for schools and less money for Bloomberg's no-bid contract cronies?

In addition, the City Council has raised its budget for this year by $52 million - that includes 4% raises for staff.

4% raises when every other agency is being asked to cut between 2.7% and 7% of their budget?

Seems to me we could look at whatever Quinn and Company are doing with the money they're doling out at the City Council, make some cuts, and start spending it on education.

Let's say we reduce the raises to 2% and return $26 million to education.

Now we have restored a total of $165 million to education.

See how easy this really is?

When you really don't want to lay people off and you want to find productive solutions to problems - including budget shortfalls - you can.

But Bloomberg and Klein do not want to do that.

Rather, like Obama is using the financial crisis to remake/privatize public education through rttT and NCLB Jr, Bloomberg and Klein want to use the fiscal crisis here in NYC to redo the contract, gut seniority protections and start laying off all those "bad" (i.e., expensive, veteran teachers.)

I'm sure John Podesta, Evan Thomas and the wankers at Morning Joe would approve.

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