The Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) passed the executive budget last night. Only one member, Manhattan representative Patrick Sullivan, voted nay. Sullivan said he was concerned that more resources were devoted to testing and charter schools while the bread-and-butter, general education classes that serve the majority of students would suffer from the cuts. Of course considering the mayor appoints 8 of the members of the panel (the 5 others are appointed by the borough presidents), it is not surprising that they passed his budget - especially in light of the mayor's history of firing members who don't agree with his decisions.
The meeting was scantily attended, despite the uproar over the budget cuts over the past few weeks, and many of the public comments had nothing to do with the budget vote. Meanwhile, one uninvited participant - a small brown mouse - darted around the audiences' feet at the MLK High School Complex auditorium. Chancellor Klein, who looked exhausted, sounded relieved to close the session and the monthly PEP meetings for the school year.