Saturday, May 3, 2008

Weingarten on Budget Cuts

This is worth reading if nothing for its conciliatory weakness. Do we have to review what so many of us said when the UFT cancelled last year's May 9 demo in exchange for promises we all said the mayor and Klein wouldn't keep? OK, now that you asked:

Except for a few instances, the wording is full of the kind of promises to consult, recommend, participate but contains little or no elements that bind the very people at Tweed who have engendered such distrust in the past.

Ednotes, April 19, 2007
Or this:
The May 9th demo scared the hell out of Bloomberg and would have made a national splash and focused attention on so many of the awful policies as a result of his control of the school system. In addition, it looks like the back of the coalition forming to stand up to him may have been broken. Divide and conquer, used to perfection. With the cooperation of the UFT.

Ed Notes April 20, 2007

Well, look what's back – the Coalition, running ads complaining about BloomKlein not keeping their promise (
Today the city broke that promise to kids. - sniff, sniff). Just dumping money down a hole to make it look like something is being done.

Are you sick of the whining and complaining from the people at the UFT who cave at the nearest opportunity? If you actually stood up, how could you be looked at as a rational educational spokesperson by the people you want to impress - not the teachers of NYC mind you - but the ed reform pundits, the press and the politicians.

Take this one: "The Mayor rightly understood it was important to keep his $400 promise to homeowners and to roll some of the surplus as a cushion."

WHAT! She says he rightly understood? Wrong!

She should have hammered him for choosing to give people a measly $400 bucks while screwing the schools. You see, the UFT never wants to talk about taxes, especially at the corporate and corrupt real estate level, feeling it will lose support. But the money has to come from somewhere. How about asking for a chunk of the money going to Bear Stearns?

UFT President Randi Weingarten’s Statement on Mayor’s Executive Budget
Last year the Mayor and the City Council matched the historic commitment that the state made to reverse the chronic, multi-generational underfunding of the New York City public schools by agreeing to $2.2 billion increase over 4 years. Today the city broke that promise to kids. Today the city reversed the approximately $450 million it had promised in the 2008 adopted budget.

The governor and state legislature—despite facing daunting budget deficits actually increased their commitment to kids when the state appropriated $600 million in new funds for NYC public schools. Compare that to the city’s reduction of promised funds in the wake of the substantial multi-billion dollar surplus.

The Mayor rightly understood it was important to keep his $400 promise to homeowners and to roll some of the surplus as a cushion. He should have given the same consideration to the importance of the 4-year promise the city made to our children. He has broken that promise, and we have five weeks to work with him and the City Council to reverse it.


NYC Educator said...

Off topic, but I've tagged you for a meme.

Rachel Grynberg said...

The bottom line is no one thinks public education is worth the bottom line. No one, not the parents, students, teachers, etc. This is a country that does not believe education leads to success. So we'll never take care of our schools. I feel like the tone Randi Weingarten takes is the one I imagine of individuals trying to rationalize with the Nazis. "You are very right that the street is, ultimately, in your jurisdiction, so if you don't believe that the broken glass on the ground is important, I can't argue with you. I would suggest, however, that you consider that the needs of my children are similar to those in neighborhoods where there is no glass on the ground today." What is sad is that I can see myself being equally "appropriate". Gandhi was able to embarass the British with his actions. They knew arresting a man for making salt is ridiculous and their metaphorical cheeks got read. But nothing makes American's blush anymore -- I don't mean sexually -- I mean in terms of standards with which we treat each other. That's why its hard to see how absolutely absurd it is to keep being so seemingly rational. While she is making her nice speech, the tracks are being built. It's a common mistake made centuries over by lesser and better people, so perhaps she is to be set in context and excused for it. Nobody thought they would really send people to their deaths on a daily basis. In plain sight. Would the city fire thousands of people on frivolous charges in broad daylight?
What I continually do not understand is why corporations are so much more afraid of lawsuits than the DOE? At least, at Credit Suisse, you get a package. At Verizon, there's a whole process you have to go through before you can fire someone.
Why would a public sector agency be able to do things the private sector cannot do with such impunity? Can you imagine Bear Sterns halling off it's over 40 accountants on charges they were dangerous to the clients without actually being able to prove so? Would they dare? Again, at least they would get a package.