Thursday, July 01, 2021


The UFT Contract will expire in September of 2022. When whoever is elected mayor claims that there is no money for educator and other city employee raises or expanded benefits, show them the final 2022 budget Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council agreed to yesterday. This is from the Mayor's News account on his Recovery Budget:

Building on Strong Reserves

Before New York City became the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, the City had maintained record levels of budget reserves that were needed in the midst of the pandemic induced financial crisis to help balance the budget, prevent layoffs, and avoid disastrous cuts to critical programs and services. In Adoption the administration partnered with the City Council to add $500 million to the City’s first-ever Rainy Day Fund, which now holds nearly $1 billion. With $2.8 billion in reserves added since June, total reserves in FY22 are now $5.1 billion, with $3.8 billion in the Retiree Health Benefits Trust, $993 million in the Rainy Day Fund, and $300 million in the General Reserve. At their highest, NYC reserves totaled $6.1 billion at the peak of the economic cycle in Fiscal Year 2020.

Call it reserves or surplus or whatever you want. Any way you refer to it, the city has plenty of money again as it did before the pandemic. Extra federal money won't expire until 2024 according to what I read in ChalkbeatNY. If we examine the allocation for the New York City school system, the poverty argument is going to be very difficult to make in the next three years. This is from the Chalkbeat piece on the city's education final budget:

Many budget figures weren’t immediately available. However, officials confirmed that the education department’s spending would increase by $2.4 billion year-over-year. That would put the total budget for the nation’s largest school system at $31.6 billion.

When starting the budget process in January, de Blasio initially shared a pessimistic outlook for schools if the federal government and state didn’t send more money to New York City. But now, the city is flush with nearly $7 billion in federal coronavirus relief dollars for schools and another $1.3 billion in state aid.

That adds up to an extra $8.3 billion in federal and state funding. A small portion of that additional money should make it to the classroom as schools will be funded at 100% fair student funding. Back to Chalkbeat:

More money for school budgets

The bulk of money schools get to run their day-to-day operations, such as teacher salaries and services for students with disabilities, comes from a formula known as fair student funding. This year, for the first time, every school will get 100% of the dollars they’re entitled to receive under the city’s fair student funding formula. About three-quarters of schools previously did not get their full allotment and will now see boosts.

“Now, they will have money to hire new teachers, art, music, gym, you name it,” said Brooklyn Councilman Mark Treyger, chair of the City Council’s education committee, during the budget press conference Wednesday.

It will cost the city a total $605 million next fiscal year, plus another $140 million to cover fringe benefits and pension costs, according to the Independent Budget Office.

That's not even $1 billion going directly to school budgets out of an additional $8.3 billion. What about the remainder? 

It isn't going to lower class sizes except for a tiny amount. Again to Chalkbeat:

The City Council proposed a $250 million investment to reduce class size. Instead, the city is planning an $18 million pilot program for smaller classes, though officials declined to share details about what it would involve. A department spokesperson said more details would be shared “in the coming days.”

Reducing class size has been a perennial issue. This year, as social distancing required small classes, many families and educators saw benefits of having fewer children in a classroom, and many believe that small classes are critical again next year since children will likely have a range of needs and could be at widely different levels academically. Advocates were hopeful that the billions in federal and state dollars could support such an initiative.

This final investment is a “piddling amount of money,” said Leonie Haimson, executive director of the advocacy organization Class Size Matters.

“I think this is a very sad end to a mediocre mayoral record when it comes to our schools,” Haimson said. “He could have easily funded that out of the $8 billion [in federal and state money].”

The city will also invest in hiring school social workers but in the end, only heaven above knows where the bulk of that extra $8.3 billion is going to end up. 

For example, Chalkbeat covered academic recovery:

‘Academic recovery’ — with few details

The final budget will include an “academic recovery” plan after children lost out on instructional time in the classroom: all students spent about a third of the 2019-2020 school year fully remote, and more than 60% finished out the following school year learning exclusively from home.

The mayor had proposed spending $500 million on helping students catch up by giving students diagnostic tests when they return this fall to measure their English and math skills. Students will then get extra support, such as high-dosage tutoring, to catch up on those subjects where they are below grade level.

But many questions remain unanswered, including what the diagnostic tests will be, what sort of extra support will be available for students, and who will provide tutoring. Aside from some details revealed during a City Council budget hearing in May, city officials have declined to offer more specifics. In response to questions from Chalkbeat, an education department spokesperson said more information would be shared “in the coming days.”

What does information is coming soon mean? Here is our brief very educated guess:

If any organization can squander billions of dollars in new federal and state money with little that has to do with actually educating students, it's the New York City Department of Education. Expect very little assistance in the actual classrooms.

The UFT is claiming victory in this budget. Below are the figures from the Union's article on the final budget. Add it all up and it comes to around $800 million in spending. That's less than 10% of the extra $8.3 billion the city is receiving for education from the federal and state governments. Is the UFT even asking questions about the remainder?

Among the education highlights are:

  • $605 million to provide the long-sought 100% fair funding for schools in the neediest districts;
  • $81.1 million for 650 Department of Education positions to ensure that every school has a social worker able to provide mental health support;
  • $27 million for a citywide literacy curriculum to help K-2 students read at grade level;
  • $20 million for Teacher’s Choice;
  • $18 million for a class-size reduction program;
  • $14 million for community schools, including $5 million to add 10 new schools;
  • $6 million to revitalize the Public School Athletic League in every high school;
  • $5 million for mental health services, which will include screening for all students;
  • $3.6 million for the UFT Teacher Center;
  • $3 million for United Community Schools;
  • $2.8 million for an LGBTQ inclusive curriculum;
  • $2.4 million for Trans-Equity initiatives;
  • $1.5 million for the Positive Learning Collaborative;
  • $200,000 for BRAVE, the UFT anti-bullying program;
  • $168,800 for Dial-A-Teacher.


Anonymous said...

Money will go to bullshit. That’s the safer bet. Please prove me wrong, NYC/DOE.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of money to spruce up the Klein Palace at Tweed.

Anonymous said...

Wasn’t today supposed to be Spring Break Money day?

Judith Katz said...

I’m very happy for NYC athletes that the PSAL will be revived. However, where are the plans to revive the All-City music programs and the Salute to Music programs! These are two programs that are more than 60 years old. The city that boasts that it is a world-class music capital should also boast that it is also a world-class music education capital as well.

Anonymous said...

James, I just found this on NYSED's website. It has to do with APPR evaluations for the 2020-2021 school year:

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Returned to school building today after remote work, working chapter 683. PPE for students in preparation for tomorrow. Program schedule at dismissal, no roster, no idea of students names, in person and remote instruction program, no directives?? Teach remote as you share space with a classroom teacher, teaching, okay? Asked for N-95 mask and looked at like I was crazy. Very few honoring mask wearing and classes packed without regard to social distancing guide lines for spec.ed. middle school.
How is all of this suppose to work to keep kids and staff safe? To reassure those just returning?

Anonymous said...

Just found out today at summer school orientation that students will be using Edmentum which the city used last year which flopped. Edmentum is far above what students can do.

Anonymous said...

They’ll hire more educrats who’s jobs are really a modern version of cronyism and nepotism. Hard to track as so many people have common or different surnames. The DoE is filled with it from custodians all the way to principals, in almost every school. I know one assistant superintendent who has every single member of his family working in the DoE. His cousins, his 70 year old mother, his stepfather and even old gang members from the teen days in the Latin Kings. The last bunch used to irk me because of the way they acted and interacted with the students. The UFT loves him - Mulgrew runs the UFT exactly the same way. He is a charming guy though and for 10 grand you get an AP job but if you are a woman you’ll also have to sleep with him. I have an acquaintance, that’s a lipstick lesbian, who did just that. Sick world and the DOE is even sicker.

Anonymous said...


Covid is over. Please move on.

A year ago, I would echo your sentiments. Not now. Go live

Anonymous said...

Sorry, 931, with so many unvaccinated, COVID is still a big problem. Delta is easily spread. We are asking for this shit to continue.

Anonymous said...

Like always we may get crumbs if we are lucky while big salaries will be given to the new chiefs going back to building the fat in central and CBO, not to mention all special events (parties in the name of PDs) to kill time. Hey, who knows Carranza could come back at a higher salary with all these billions at stake!! But in 2 years when the funds start to run dry, there'll be talks of layoffs. Maybe then, with the new Mayor, the ERI will be approved@@. Keep hope alive. Stay cool and lets enjoy the summer off!

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but I couldn't find an answer to my query about the Healthcare Rally before this new blog appeared.
How did Wednesday's Healthcare Rally go?

Anonymous said...


But if you are vaccinated, that helps with all these variants. Stop watching fauci and the fear mongering and enjoy life. I’m done with masks. I received my vaccination. Go enjoy your life and stop being scared by the news. Remember a few weeks ago how everyone was saying the UK variant would be worse than covid a year ago? I think some people were happier when covid was at its peak.

Your choice to live scared.

Anonymous said...


Surgeon general said UK variant impacts those unvaccinated. Getting a vaccination, at this point, is a choice. If you are vaccinated, that will protect you. Everything is a risk. Leaving your home is a risk.

Get busy living or live in fear. I respect both choices, but in my mind after getting vaccinated, I’m choosing to live.

Anonymous said...

The NYC DOE has too much money already. I agree with 8:57. Any surplus will just increase the corruption, if possible.

I will never understand how the taxpayers accept a school system that is such an expensive obvious, perhaps intentional, failure.

Anonymous said...

@7:37 if you dont feel safe- why do summer school?
its not mandatory.
just tell teh truth

Anonymous said...

I agree about 737.

If you feel unsafe, get another summer gig. I have done that. There are a ton of part time jobs around today.

If you read these articles about the variants, the unvaccinated are in danger.

To all of you who are still living in fear, read the full articles and not the headlines. Also, you can never leave your home again.

Get busy living!

Prehistoric pedagogue said...

27 million for literacy curriculum. 5 million for lgbt
And trans curriculum. Anyone with a month’s experience knows that’s $32 million write down the drain.

Anonymous said...

Omg. CNN executive admitted to fear mongering. Busted by a video taken in a bar. Stop believing them. They want you home in fear in front of your tv watching them. I’m vaccinated and maskless now and living life. I won’t go to an indoor crowded rave but my usual activities are back on track. None of the variant scares have come to fruition here. Why do you think MSM is right this time? They’re stringing you along just like they did when they said the walls were closing in on Russia. No matter how liberal you are, you’ve got to recognize the media’s bullshit by now. Start reading Matt Taibi and Glen Greenwood. Two liberal journalists who are truly journalists. Start watching Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar (formerly from The Hill’s Rising). These are honorable people not trying to shove their political agenda down your throat with lies and misinformation. The Mainstream Media is not your friend no matter who you voted for in 2020. And yes that includes Fox News.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 10:55, I heard the Districts/Central have been conducting frequent PDs. I know a few who work there. Its an all day event, off-site, for all staff with breakfast and hot lunch talking about implicit bias and ways of increase inclusiveness for Agree with 10:55, I heard the Districts/Central have been conducting frequent PDs. I know a few who work there. Its an all day event, off-site, for all staff with breakfast and hot lunch talking about implicit bias and ways of increase inclusiveness

Anonymous said...

@5:31 "write down the drain" for literacy curriculum? Maybe not.