The city is spending more on education, but a lot of that extra money is going to the bureaucracy and not directly to schools. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
Under Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Department of Education is spending a lot more on its staff at headquarters.
Under the preliminary budget the mayor unveiled Tuesday, the city would be spending 70 percent more on education bureaucrats than under Mayor Michael Bloomberg four years ago.
It's a trajectory that worries even some of de Blasio's education allies, particularly the teachers' union, which believes some of the spending is at the expense of services provided by its members.
"We've send a trend lately of central spending going up. Personnel, outside contracts are starting up again, and it has us greatly concerned," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.
The city spent $123 million on central staff at the Education Department in the year that began July 2013. That number has steadily grown to a projected $210 million in the year beginning this July 1.
A lot of the new spending is for contractors, working in areas like recruitment and the mayor's push to bring social services to struggling schools.
"Every year, we go to Albany and we advocate for the money for the children for New York City. And we understand that you need a central staff to oversee things, but in the end, we want the money in the schools, in the classrooms. That's what we want," Mulgrew said.
While the number of employees in the central offices has climbed, other central costs have also swelled, up 34 percent since the last year of the Bloomberg administration to $150 million for non-salary items like travel, office equipment and printing.
A spokesperson for the mayor defended the spending, saying initiatives like universal pre-k, computer science for all and the push to get students reading on grade level, require "a heightened level of central support."
Bloomberg was also criticized for spending more on the central office, but in his last years in office, he actually reduced spending at the Department of Education headquarters.