Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Daily News: Bloomberg Cut Money Spent On Classrooms And Teachers While He Increased Charter School Funding By $627 Million Dollars

From The Daily News:

Charter schools received billions of dollars during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure — while teachers, school aides, principals and classrooms got a smaller share of a substantially larger school budget pie, according to documents obtained by the Daily News.

Money for charter schools exploded from about $32 million to about $659 million over a decade as Bloomberg increased their number from 17 when he took office in 2002 to 125 in 2010-11, the most recent year for which spending data are available.

Meanwhile, the city spent more money on direct services to schools, but reduced the percentage of funds that goes to pay for classroom staffers and materials.

Teachers received about 34% of the overall education budget in 2010-11, down from roughly 40% of the overall budget in 2001-02. But their starting salaries increased — from $31,190 in September 2001 to $45,530 this year, according to education officials.

Still, teachers union head Michael Mulgrew blasted the city for skimping on teacher salaries, saying instructors haven’t received raises in the four years since their last contract expired in 2009. “If you’re going to lower the percentage you’re paying teachers, you’re not going to be able to hold on to or attract a high-quality workforce,” Mulgrew said.

Bloomberg also allotted smaller shares for custodial services, drug prevention programs and summer school, while boosting payments to private schools for special-needs students who require services district schools don’t provide.

Bloomberg administration hacks will point to the increase in teacher salaries and say, "Look, we are spending more on teacher salaries and benefits."
But the fact is, they are spending 8% less on teachers in 2010-2011 than 2001-2002.
There are fewer teachers and fewer aides in the classrooms.
They have also cut support programs like drug counseling, cut summer school programs, cut the money allocated for classroom materials - all the while ratcheting up the money they spend on charter schools by $627 million dollars over a 10 year period, more than a 20-fold increase in funding for that sector.
And the Daily News article doesn't even get into how much more they're spending on the central office, the technology consultants, the Common Core consultants, the networks and all the other "reforms" Bloomberg has pushed during his Reign of Error.
You'll often hear anti-pubic school propaganda that will say schools are getting so much more funding these days than they used to and they're still "failing."
But the reality is, Bloomberg and his privatization specialists at Tweed have steered much of that money to their favored sector - the charter industry - or to their favored projects - testing and technology.
Funding for the classroom has actually been cut, even as the federal, state and city mandates have increased exponentially.
Can any of this funding inequity and charter school largesse be rolled back when Bloomberg leaves office?
Hard to know, but I suspect with 10% of city students expected to be attending charter schools by the time Bloomberg's charters all reach capacity and with all the testing and evaluation mandates locked in by state law, it will be very difficult to put the toothpaste back into the tube on any of this.

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