Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How to solve the School Budget (shortfall) for next year

Again, just rational common sense. But as Mark Twain said, to paraphrase, "Common sense doesn't seem to be too common at Boston City Hall"

From the financial maniacal one:

The city collects $1.4 billion in property tax, $500 million from state aid and $500 million from fees/fines/interest etc. If state aid goes down by $50 million and other income goes down by an unprecedented 15% or $75 million, half of that will be offset by property tax increases under prop 2 1/2. So we will have a NET budget decrease next year of about $75 million in a virtual armageddon scenario. If the school system has to account for 1/3 - that's $25 million or a 3% budget cut. We put $10 million in this year to supplement high fuel costs that disappeared - save that and apply to next year, cut it from next year's budget and you are now only $5 million short of a flat budget. Lose 200 non-teacher heads through attrition in your 9000 person staff that has been growing over the past decade while the school population has been shrinking and add that to the savings from the 6 or so planned school closings and boom - balanced budget, no layoffs and the teachers get the raises they deserve. Now Tom that didn't hurt so bad, did it?

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