Saturday, May 7, 2011

Political Maltent: WalBloom's Dilemma

Has Bloomberg put himself and his factotum Dennis into a corner by continuing to push for a loss of 6000 teachers while gilding all sorts of lilies - consultants, etc. - AND having a budget surplus?

Well at least I make out well in this fiasco:

The Bloomberg administration plans to announce that it will open 10 new senior centers, each serving 250 to 300 people.
It is pretty obvious to even the lamest observers that this is all about the politics of ending last in first out and Bloomberg is trying to browbeat the state legislature into giving him what he wants. Will the UFT refuse to panic and hold firm despite the foaming at the mouth of the NY Post, Wall Street Journal and other press sycophants?

What does WalBloom do if LIFO still exists and thousands of their newbies are forced out of the system? Can't you see the crying outrage from the E4E crowd about how the excellent teachers are being chopped? Could WalBloom actually chop the new TFA and Teaching Fellow class along with so many other people they hope to use as shock troops to undermine the union? As expected, one of E4E's funders had this to say:
Joe Williams, Education Reform Now: "No one wants to lay off teachers -- or any layoffs for that matter -- but it will be doubly cruel to our students if those layoffs remove some of the most effective teachers from the classroom because of an outdated and poorly considered law. For months, New Yorkers have called for Albany to take action on 'Last In, First Out,' and now time has run out. It's time for state leaders to act to end the practice of LIFO and help ensure the best teachers stay in the classroom during this difficult time. That's what reform means -- giving the taxpayers more for their money, in this case, the best teachers we have.  The ball is now in Albany's court."
Yes, that's the line. We don't want layoffs but the main fight is not against layoffs but against LIFO.

Can Bloomberg really ask Walcott to run a school system with 6000 less teachers?

Bloomberg's believability quotient is low, so many assume he is playing chicken. Let's say he gets LIFO killed. We know that these cuts will suddenly disappear. He doesn't care that we would say "told you so" because teachers would be screwed for eternity.

If he doesn't get LIFO done in, he has a problem. Imagine the chaos of the opening of school and the shifting of teachers all over the city? He will blame the union. But there would be massive shifting even if LIFO ended. So if LIFO still exists, what does he do? If he pulls the trigger on the layoffs, even he knows that any shred of legitimacy as an education mayor will be gone and probably mayoral control too.

There is still time for a deal to screw LIFO given this disturbing comment From NY Mag Daily Intel
Bloomberg insists he means it this time, that the money isn’t there, and that he isn’t laying off teachers to prove a point about LIFO. But if this isn’t the usual shell game, in which city tax revenues spike and Bloomberg saves thousands of jobs just before the July 1 deadline, he really is going to need an assist from Albany. There’s not much chance of the state suddenly coughing up more cash; a compromise on seniority rules or state mandates, though, should be possible. Two weeks ago the mayor and the governor had a long dinner on the Upper West Side. Perhaps today’s quieter tone at City Hall is the next step in trying to get Cuomo to pick up part of a much bigger check.
Here are the link:
Gotham: Bloomberg’s budget suggests cutting 1 of every 12 teachers; criticism is rampant. (AP, GS, NYT, DN)
And the outrage in the NY Times comments.
Leonie's update: The mayor's choice: a budget which puts children last
Urban Teacher's Nightmare: Bloomberg's New Budget Proposal along with his links: (See stories and commentary here, here, here, here, here, and here.)


  1. "That's what reform means, giving tax payers more for their money"-Joe Wlliams, Education Reform Now.

    Ahh, yes. Like more sheets of toilet paper on a roll?

    Sooo, I guess reform maybe isn't all about "the children"?

    Anyway, didn't Cuomo say at one point that LIFO would be in place in July in time for layoffs. I just assume that the "two men in a room" rule will prevail and Bloomy and Cuomo will magically pull a LIFO rule out of a hat soon.

    Your friend in Buffalo :), where we have just given 9 of our schools over to an EPO (Educational Partnership Organization) a new configuration from the State, kind of like a training bra for charters.

  2. I was looking at the NYTimes comments and was more than a little disgusted by Eric E4E's comment...


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