Saturday, January 26, 2008
The DOE Must Save 324 Million Dollars In The Budget - Here Are Some Ideas
Bloomberg has told Joel Klein that he must find 324 million dollars in budget cuts. The question is how will the DOE do this.? Will they reduce administrative overhead? Eliminate no-bid inflated contracts? Maybe cancel consultant services? Not likely. Knowing the DOE, look for many of these cuts to find their way into the classroom as Kleinberg plays "rob Peter to pay Paul" game as they try to save their pet projects at the expense of the children.
However, I do know a way to save the money and improve the classroom environment at the same time.
First, stop hiring new teachers before all ATR's are placed. Millions of dollars are wasted as experienced, older (and yes higher salaried) teachers are used as substitutes, costing the school district not only money but wasting demonstrated teaching ability as well. Instead the DOE insisted on hiring newbies who are at the beginnig of a long learning curve at the expense of the children.
Second, stop pulling teachers out of the classroom, based upon frivolous charges. Only in New York City are teachers subject to 3020-a hearings based upon non-criminal incidents. Presently, many of these teachers can spend over two years in the "rubber rooms" being fully paid and end up with a small fine or a letter to the file. Meanwhile, the person who is replacing that teacher is also being paid a full salary. Talk about wasting money! A better way is to have an independent arbitrator who talks to both sides and decides if the teacher warrants removal. This procedure will greatly reduce the teacher removal rates and add money to the school budget.
Third, the dramatic increase in teacher incompetence cases are well documented. Not only is Kleinberg doing their best in trying to get rid of these teachers, they are spending a million dollars to setup a "gotcha squad" who's prime purpose is to fire teachers for incompetence. Here again a master arbitrator can be used to determine if the school has exhausted all remedies before the teachers is charged.
Finally, reduce the administrative ranks from the district and the borough offices. Many of these administrators exist because they are friends or family of big shots in the city and are a drain to the DOE budget. Just try to call these offices for guidance and see how you are shifted from one bureaucrat to another without getting an answer.
I believe that if the above items are implemented, the DOE will have more money for the classroom. Of cause what do I know, I'm only a teacher
Thanks to NYC educator for suppling me with his graphic on budget cuts.