I can’t help but think that Cathie Black has been brought in to destroy the public school system.
The system is not great, but some people learn to work within it. Good principals are thoughtful and frugal and prudently roll over part of their annual school budgets to offset midyear DOE budget cuts that have come to be expected. All they want to do is offer a consistent program to the children in their schools. If there is an after school program this year there is a plan to continue the program next year. If a favorite teacher goes on maternity leave, there is money in the budget to hire a substitute teacher so that the favorite teacher can come back to the school community where she is known and loved instead of being forced to start over in a similar position at a different school.
Now the DOE wants the principals to give back half of the money in these rainy day accounts. There is not good way of looking at this. It says Bloomberg and Black do not trust the principals to take good care of their own schools. It says Bloomberg and Black don’t want any principals to have the power to maintain their school environment when faced with random draconian budget cuts. Bloomberg and Black are intentionally setting up principals to “fail” so that the real estate they occupy, the public school buildings, can be handed over to for profit charter schools. The reason being if we can privatize education it won’t be a community issue if so many of our children can’t read, it will be the private problem of some corporation. The problem will still be there but it won’t be our problem, it will be their problem. Problem delegated = problem solved. Not my problem
That’s why school Chancellor Cathie Black wasn’t showing much sympathy for principals outraged over plans to raid their rainy-day funds.
“It isn’t punishment of anybody,” Black told reporters yesterday, a day after officials announced that principals of the city’s public schools who put away money to prepare for next year’s budget cuts will lose 50 cents of every dollar they saved.
“There’s a lot of hard decisions that are going to have to be made, so it seems to me to be prudent to say we’re not taking 100% of it away.
All told, principals socked away $80.5 million.