A few weeks ago, a solemn President Bush revealed that he honors our soldiers’ sacrifice by abstaining from golf. “I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal,” he explained.
It was in this spirit that Chancellor Joel Klein appeared before the City Council this morning. Klein dedicated his presentation to the heroic central cuts endured by his bureaucracy. While salty tears welled up in my eyes, I noticed that one slide was missing. Paragons of restraint that they are, the New York City Department of Education has only increased central staffing levels by 18% over the last three years. In October 2004, there were 1984 central staff. By February 2008 there were only 2350.
Some administrative divisions of Tweed, though, are hurting more than others. Please stand while I salute these departmental role models:
* In October 2004, the Department of Assessment and Accountability had 19 staff. In February 2008, they had 80 - that’s only a 321% increase.
* In October 2004, the Division of Human Resources had only 235 staff. In February 2008, they had 370 - a 57% increase.
* In October 2004, the Office of New Schools had 14 staff. In February 2008, its spawn, the Office of Portfolio Development, had 36 - a 157% increase. (See 2005 and 2008 data for all headcount figures; these are central staff paid for with tax-levied funds.)
As New York City schools face budget cuts of up to 6%, New York City parents and kids are grateful to the Department of Education for making the sacrifices necessary to send us the right signal.
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