Wednesday, May 21

Could good budget news be on the horizon?

Today's Sun has a comprehensive overview of where the city's school budgets now stand — and it's possible, writes Elizabeth Green, that one reason principals didn't receive their school budgets last week as scheduled is that the mayor plans to restore some funding to schools. That's the hope, at least, of principals and school advocates who want to see an upside to a delay that follows a year of financial uncertainty. Advocates have been relentless in pressuring the mayor and chancellor to restore school funding, planning rallies in every borough, airing TV and radio ads, and getting local Community Education Councils to pass resolutions opposing the cuts.

And all but just a few City Council members signed a resolution opposing the budget cuts; the Council must approve the proposed budget before it is adopted. This morning, the council's education and finance committees are discussing the city's capital school budget. Next week, the council takes on the operating budget. By then, and as early as this afternoon, we should see the mayor or the chancellor address the financial picture the schools are facing. I predict they've gotten the message that it won't be acceptable for them to tell principals and parents again that budget cuts will have "no impact whatsoever."

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