If you're a regular reader of my blog you know that I believe that the DOE wastes millions of dollars on a bloated bureaucracy, short changes schools of needed resources and funding, and implements policies that keep experienced, veteran teachers without a classroom. In addition, the DOE is considered the enemy and not a friend to the classroom teacher, the same as under Mayor Bloomberg. The reason is the ideology of the Bloomberg era remains at Tweed.
Nowhere else in our country would a school district be allowed to spend money so lavishly on their own creature comforts and expensive consultants at the expense both to the taxpayer and the students they are supposed to educate. Yet the DOE wastes countless millions on their ideological pursuit of data mining, teacher accountability, and lawyers. Moreover, the DOE allows 1,300 to 1,600 ATRs to act as substitute teachers and is estimated to cost over $100 million dollars annually. Finally, their school-based fair student funding encourages principals to hire "the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their school.
The present DOE budget is 29.2 billion, that is a 7.3% increase since last year and a 22% increase since Bill de Blasio took over as Mayor. By contrast, teacher salaries have only risen 5.5% since the Mayor took over the City and schools have only seen a 3% to 6% increase in their funding. If you realize that 4,500 teachers leave the system every year and are replaced by cheaper "newbies" the overall teacher salary has probably changed little or even dropped. Further, class sizes have remained unchanged and are the highest in the State. Rather than hire more teachers and add more seats, the DOE encourages schools to give a "sixth period" to teachers and stuff as many students as possible in any one class.
Until Chancellor Carmen Farina retires for good and the new Chancellor "cleans house" at Tweed, ideology will trump student needs in today's DOE. Children last.....Always!