Tuesday, May 27

After setback, City Council continues budget talks this morning

Were you at the beach on Sunday? (I hope you weren't sitting around by your computer reading blogs!) If you were, you might have seen an airplane towing the message "Mayor Bloomberg, keep your promises to our schools." The Keep the Promises Coalition was spreading the word about the budget cuts the schools are facing — cuts that Chancellor Klein recently rejiggered but not relieved. It seems unlikely that the mayor vacations on the city's public beaches, but I suppose it was worth a shot, especially if the effort prompted city residents to call the coalition's toll-free number to register complaints about the cuts.

I'd also bet that there weren't many principals enjoying the beach this weekend -- they were likely too busy figuring out what programs and services to cut for next year, since they only received their budgets late on Thursday.

This morning at 9:30, the education and finance committees of the City Council will be looking at the proposed operating budget for the city's schools. (See the Insideschools calendar for details.) It should be a contentious debate — almost all of the council members have called on the mayor to restore funding to the schools, but he shows no signs of budging. I'm guessing we'll hear council members offering suggestions of where the DOE could trim its fat, in ways that won't affect individual schools. We'll see how productive the debate turns out to be.

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