Thursday, March 17, 2011

NYC Council Challenges DOE Chancellor Cathie Black on New Year End Surplus Cash Policies

The following letter was sent by NYC Council Speaker Quinn and Education Chair Robert Jackson. The letter protests Chancellor Cathie Black’s new requirement mandating NYC school principals to return a portion of their year end surplus. In past years principals have been able to roll over funds not spent. For an educational system more closely aligning itself with a free market business mindset, this policy seems to buck the trend. It seems logical that frugal principals that implement cost cutting measures should be able to roll over funds saved. Please do let me know what you think.


March 17, 2011

Dear New Yorker,

As you may know, this year Chancellor Cathie Black announced that the NYC Department of Education (DOE) would begin requiring principals for the first time to return a portion of their surplus at the end of the year.

In previous years, principals have been able to "roll over" portions of their budgets in expectation of cuts. Last year alone, 741 schools rolled over their budget surpluses into the following year, totaling $81 million systemwide. And almost half of these schools rolled $100,000 or more.

This past Friday, we sent a letter to Chancellor Black voicing our opposition to this policy change and requesting that the DOE to allow principals to roll the entirety of their budget surpluses into the coming fiscal year.

As we argue in our letter, requiring schools to return any amount of their surplus punishes principals for managing their budgets prudently, and we will continue to urge the DOE to reconsider its proposal.

Finally, as reported in the news, the State is making big cuts to education aid in an effort to help close a multibillion dollar budget deficit. We are fighting hard to ensure that we are not left picking up the tab for State-mandated services and that we get a fair and equitable share of the final amount.

Of equal concern are the Governor's proposals to cut school building aid and terminate the State's commitment to funding half of the DOE's capital plan. The Governor's plan wouldn't generate any savings for the State next year, but it would force the DOE to scuttle its plans to add 36,000 new school seats. We are pushing hard to reverse this plan as well.

As always, your input and involvement in these efforts are crucial, and we promise to keep you updated on our progress going forward.

For information and updates on the Council's budget process, please visit us online at

Thank you.

Christine C. Quinn
NYC Council

Robert Jackson
Chair, Education Committee
NYC Council

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is interesting. Now Quinn wants to buck Black on her efforts to undermine what these people have managed to save. Why was she so busy kissing the Mayors rear when he appointed Black? She, and the city council should have pulled all of there political clout, with the Senate, to stop him dead in his tracks from appointing her. Now Quinn wants to close the door, after the horses have left the stable. I hope she doesn't really think she's going to be Mayor! Gifford miller is holding a Janatorial job open for her in a school. She's been given the shaft by the Mayor so many times, she just didn't get it. He did give it to thou!!!!