As I have been saying all along, there is plenty of money in the budget to not lay off any teachers or police officers. The Herald reports today, that the reserve fund is up to 121 million dollars, 21 million more than Adrian Walker of the Globe reported within the past couple weeks.
At $100,000 per teacher that is 210 teaching jobs, amazingly the amount that the Mayor still says need to be cut.
Meanwhile, the Globe reports exactly what I have been saying would happen since January. The Mayor would run around like Chicken Little saying 'sky is falling, sky is falling' and then he would come in like a supposed hero and make statements about how HE is saving education because it is so important to him. The statement from his office:
"The mayor has said that one of the most important things he can do as mayor is provide a quality education for all in the city," Joyce said. "Being able to find those resources is something he wanted to do."
But, he only wanted to do it after scaring the heck out of parents, teachers and students who have been coming to the school committee meetings and begging, pleading and crying about how much their school, their program or their teacher has meant to them, in some cases even talking about how education has saved their life.
This is not the way to run a government. It is dishonest and disingenuous. The fact is that since the City budget is so dependent on the property tax the tax rolls are very consistent and predictable. The Mayor who has complete control and knowledge of the budget was saying in December that we were going to lay off 200 cops and 900 teachers is not going to do anything like that.
We need an open, honest budget process where all the players at the table are treated with respect. Difficult decisions need to be made, but huffing and puffing and threatening are not the way to do it.