Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Visionary Mayor Cuts "Fair Student Funding"

It's kind of remarkable that a thing such as "Fair Student Funding" even exists, considering what it entails. One of the very worst features of this program is that school leaders must dip into their budgets in order to pay staff. Thus, if you're at maximum pay, why would a principal concerned with budget even consider you? Though it's bad leadership, a principal might hire a newbie and keep the rest of the money to pay prostitutes Wednesday afternoons over at the Comfort Inn. You know, miscellaneous expenses and such.

That's not even the half of it, though. According to this article, the mayor is going to cut Fair Student Funding. So if it's fair, how can you cut it? If the number you have now makes it fair, won't cutting it make it unfair? Does anyone believe the mayor is now going to label the program "Unfair Student Funding?" And look at this:

It’s not clear how the cuts to fair student funding, which accounts for the majority of most school budgets, will be spread out across schools. Not all schools receive the full budget that’s owed under the formula, while others receive more than 100%.

Wait a minute. If the geniuses at Tweed have devised perfect numbers that constitute  "Fair Student Funding," how is it even possible that they could consider giving one penny less than that to any school? I know chapter leaders who complain their principals have difficulty making ends meet because they're only getting 80% of the much hallowed "Fair Student Funding." That's an outrage.

And as though that isn't outrageous enough, some schools are getting MORE than "Fair Student Funding." So imagine that someone does business with you. You decide on what is a fair price. Then the person pays you less than the fair price, and pays someone else more than the fair price. How are you going to feel about that person? Likely you'll feel the same way I now feel about Mayor Bill de Blasio. Of course, FSF isn't the only cut he's making:

Also taking a hit: initiatives under de Blasio’s often-touted Equity and Excellence agenda, including a program that pairs middle school students with one-on-one counselors, and another aimed at setting students on a path to college. A summer program that provides hands-on activities for students and visits to cultural institutions is also being scaled back. Cutting those programs will save $49 million this year.

I hardly know where to begin. If you have programs that represent equity of excellence, and then you cut them, what have you got left? I'd argue it's inequity and mediocrity. Will the mayor, in addition to "Unfair Student Funding," now have a new program under the heading of, "Inequity and Mediocrity?" Don't hold your breath. Fairness, equity and excellence, under Mayor Bill de Blasio, are whatever the hell Mayor Bill de Blasio says they are. If he shortchanges your kid while giving mine extra, that's equity. If he cuts programs in your school, that's excellence. If he enables an entire school building of teachers with zero experience collectively, that's fairness.

And I'm sorry to harp on this, but I can't help it. Anyone who closes Broadway while leaving public schools open, as did Mayor Bill de Blasio, is making a very clear statement. People who can plunk down 800 bucks for a seat to Hamilton are important and need to be protected. The rest of us, the bootless and unhorsed, 1.1 million schoolchildren and 100,000 UFT, among others can all go to hell.

Anyone who can muster the audacity to discuss equity after having committed such an unconscionable outrage cannot be trusted with a DOE pencil, let alone the largest school system in the country.
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