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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

NYC Principals To Cathie Black: Dont Take My Money Back

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Principals: Cathie Black Makes Bad Business Decisions
Perdido Street School
I would have to agree with this:

They wanted half, but the Education Department Monday night said it would only take 30% of the money prudent principals had saved for next year.

The move is unlikely to quell principals' anger.

Chiara Coletti, spokeswoman for the principals union, called the compromise "capricious," adding: "They should have trusted the principals to know how to best use their savings for kids."

"It's simply a bad business decision sending the wrong message to frugal and fiscally responsible principals throughout New York City," said Edward Tom, principal of the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics.

Principals have until March 18 to decide whether to take the deal or spend the saved funds this school year.

In a statement, Schools Chancellor Cathie Black said that after "thoughtful feedback" from principals, the department had crafted a solution to help them keep making "prudent, long-term budget decisions."

Cathie Black is, to be frank, full of shit that the "thoughtful feedback" helped her craft a solution to help principals make "prudent, long-term budget decisions."

The criticism forced her to try and walk back the decision to STEAL 50% of the unused school money, but STILL save face and garner some cash by saying she'll ONLY take 30%.

Not good enough, Ms. Black,

I think the principals are right on the substance of this - to punish principals who have tried to be judicious with their funds is just a bad idea.

But coming from the woman who thinks birth control is the solution to school overcrowding, can you really expect any good ideas?

Posted by reality-based educator at 11:59 AM

Frugal principals feel Black's 'pinch'

By YOAV GONEN Education Reporter, New York Post, February 18, 2011

Frugal principals who manage to squirrel away rainy-day school funds to offset pending budget cuts are livid over a Department of Education bid to pinch half their savings.

Schools Chancellor Cathie Black dropped the bombshell in her weekly letter to principals -- telling them half the funds they manage to set aside for the next school year will be diverted to the DOE's central coffers.

Last school year, principals collectively rolled over more than $80 million -- meaning that if individual school piggybanks are as plump this year, DOE educrats could reap $40 million.

"This is insanity," said Sean Walsh, principal of IS 291 in Brooklyn. "It's saying whatever you put into this deferred account, you only get 50 percent back -- without any rationale as to why and what it would be doing to support the system as a whole."

After having endured eight rounds of budget cuts in recent years, principals said they took great pains to set aside money that could maintain staffing and instructional services in the next school year.

Many were outraged about being punished for exhibiting the same sound fiscal management that Mayor Bloomberg has repeatedly touted as the impetus for Black's appointment as chancellor.

"We've been very frugal with our spending this year -- that's what a good business manager does," said a Queens elementary-school principal who had hoped to roll over $100,000 for personnel costs.

"I'm sure [Bloomberg] didn't spend down to zero when he was running his business, and I'm sure [Black] didn't when she was running hers. It's really sending the wrong message."

DOE officials said money taken out of school accounts would be used to plug anticipated budget holes. They did not elaborate.

Principals said the attempt to redeploy the money would backfire by spurring most school leaders to spend it immediately and not hold it over for the next school year.

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