Governor David Paterson’s proposed $255 million budget cut for New York City schools “can’t be done,” according to a Brooklyn state senator.
“It can’t be done. That’s $6,000 a classroom,” state Senator Marty Golden said last week at an education town hall he hosted at P.S. 277 in Gerritsen Beach.
If approved by the state Senate and Assembly, the cut would be implemented in the middle of the current school year. Parents and educators have complained that a mid-year cut would be difficult for principals since they are expecting the funding and have already decided how to spend it.
Golden told parents that budget cuts are necessary because of the global financial crisis, but he believes they should be implemented next September.
“The structural budget we have is serious but I do believe it’s something that should be addressed at the next school year,” Golden said. “I do not believe that it should impact our schools in this session.”
Golden expects Senate and Assembly members to share a similar position on school budget cuts.
“I do believe that the Senate will not act and I do believe that the Assembly will not act,” Golden said.
However, “Come April, I do believe that the deficit is so high that everything will be cut [including education],” he said.
Public schools are also facing severe budget cuts from the city.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently told schools to take a 1.3 percent budget cut this year. He also said the DOE would layoff nearly 500 “non-school-based” personnel in administrative posts.
Bloomberg believes budget cuts will again be necessary in 2009. He said the city Department of Education (DOE) should expect a $385 million cut next year. That would be an 8.6 percent cut for administrative and bureaucratic costs at Tweed and a 3.5 percent cut for schools. These cuts would have to be approved by the City Council during budget negotiations next spring.