The cartoon at left (from Jim Morin, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the Miami Herald) made me laugh without laughing, if you know what I mean. "You don't have a plan!" is a popular straw man argument that one side can use against another when one side simply doesn't like the other's plan or finds it to clash with pre-established beliefs (or talking points). Just as Congressional Republicans like to accuse Democrats, including President Obama (who has put forth a deficit reduction plan), of not having a plan, so Mayor Bloomberg seems to think that his opponents don't have a realistic plan for averting teacher layoffs. Well, we here at NYC Educator have some news for the Mayor: We have a plan.
$23 million: cancel (or do not renew) contracts w/ McGraw Hill and Scantron for Acuity, or interim assessments. These contracts end in Aug. 2011 and most parents, teachers and even principals think they are worthless. (Note from Miss Eyre: Making interim assessments at a school or department level is totally possible.)
$4 million: cut contracts with TFA and New Teacher Project and instead retrain current teachers for
licenses in shortage areas.
$400 million: cut the projected increase in spending on private contracts and consultants by two thirds
$2 million: cut back on the growth in Children First Network and cluster staff
$15 million: moratorium on opening new schools.
$15 million: freeze spending for central administration
$21 million: freeze spending on technology
$9 million: reduce contract spending on professional development by using in house staff (Note from Miss Eyre: Good professional development builds capacity and community rather than just bringing in someone with a PowerPoint from the outside.)
$100 million: Charge co-located charter schools for the space and services that the city now provides in DOE buildings for free. (Emphasis mine)
Total: up to $600 million dollars in savings.
$450 million: Do not let state’s millionaire tax lapse, and/or impose one in NYC (needs state approval)
$65 million: Extend the Mortgage Recording Tax to coop apartments (needs state approval but even the Mayor supports this one)
$100 million in FY 12; $275 million to $400 million in subsequent years: Gradually raise Cap on Property Tax Assessment Increases (requires state approval)
$300 million: Extend the General Corporation Tax to Insurance Company Business Income (requires state approval)
$200 million: End the Unincorporated Business Tax exemption for hedge fund profit (requires state approval)
Total: At least $1.2 billion, but most would need state approval; more realistic options for next year.
So if a group of concerned parents, teachers, and bloggers can come up with enough savings and revenue increases to save all the laid-off teachers (without pay cuts or salary freezes to pedagogical, administrative, and/or support staff, no less!), then it appears that there is in fact a plan.
Views expressed herein are solely those of the author or authors, and do not reflect views of my employers, the United Federation of Teachers, the MORE Caucus or any other union caucus.
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.