While the outlook for next year's education budget is grim, the fallout over the failed teacher evaluation deal includes substantial cuts right now. NY1's Lindsey Christ has an update on how the Department of Education plans to slash hundreds of millions from the current budget.
From Albany to City Hall, the mayor has said it again and again this week: the New York City Department of Education is bleeding money, perhaps more than $1 billion in state and federal aid over the next few years will be gone,
It's all because the city and the United Federation of Teachers can't agree on a new teacher evaluation system. And some of those cuts are immediate.
"During the rest of the academic year we're in now, and the fiscal year we're in now we will downsize," Bloomberg said. "We will do it through attrition. We will do it through cutbacks. It will be not good for our kids, but I'm convinced the suffering that we will go through is more than worth it."
Worth it, he said, because agreeing on the first new teacher evaluation system in decades is too important to get wrong. That's exactly what the teachers union also said, though UFT president Michael Mulgrew testified in Albany Tuesday that schools shouldn't be hurt.
"Any cuts or loss of money because of the evaluation piece should come out of the Department of Ed's central bureaucracy and not be taken out of a single school or classroom in New York City," Mulgrew said.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Tuesday that most of the $250 million in immediate cuts will be absorbed by central offices, with a complete freeze on any new spending. He said schools will not have to make a mid-year cut to their overall budget, as many expected, but they will feel some pain.
In an email to principals, Walcott wrote that hours for school aides and health aides will be reduced as of February 13, principals won't be able to hire substitutes in most cases, teachers, assistant principals and guidance counselors who leave won't be replaced, and schools won't be allowed to roll over money into next year's budget, as they have in the past.
This is all out of the current budget. The longer there isn't a deal, the more money will be lost, making next year's budget much more dire.
The union and city said talks over the evaluation system are expected to resume soon. Meanwhile, the chorus of lawmakers, advocates and parents calling on them to reach a deal gets louder every day.