No level of spending will ever satisfy Mayor de Blasio, particularly when it comes to schools. But Chancellor Richard Carranza’s demand for more cash from Albany is especially galling this year.
At a hearing Wednesday, the schools boss whined that Gov. Cuomo’s budget would leave the city $148 million short of what it needs to maintain current services. Carranza threatened cuts in arts programs, bigger classes and smaller staffs.
Yet Cuomo is proposing an extra $282 million to Gotham schools, bringing the total to more than $11.1 billion — a whopping 45 percent more than in 2011-12. This, at a time when the state is trying to close a $3 billion gap. And as Cuomo now warns that another $2.3 billion hole has burst open.
Note, too, that (with state cash) total school spending in the city is a mind-numbing $32.3 billion, almost double that of a decade ago. Last year, Empire Center fiscal expert E.J. McMahon reported that Gotham outlays of $24,109 per kid were the highest among the nation’s 10 biggest cities.
Meanwhile, the state as a whole also spends twice the national per-student average, leading the nation.
Yet New York — city or state — isn’t even close to the top nationally in school performance. (Ignore Carranza’s bogus claims of gains, such as rising graduation rates.)
And Carranza doesn’t even seem to care about performance: He and his boss, the mayor, have been focused on things like racial re-engineering of schools.
Ironically, the chancellor even griped about rising costs for charter schools. Yet a large part of those increases are because the mayor opts to deny charters space in school buildings that have plenty of room, and so, by law, the city must pay for their rent.
If Carranza wants more money, he can start saving by letting charters have those seats.
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