With more than a $15 million dollar decrease in State and Federal grant monies, one would think seriously about finding budget reductions in places that have the least impact on children.
One of those places is Teaching and Learning. According to the budget, “The division’s primary role is to implement the NYS Common Core Curriculum and Core Instructional Program as the major component of the NYS Reform Agenda. Through this curriculum framework and corresponding pedagogical work we prepare our students to be career and college ready. The division encompasses all subject areas and support areas, including Math, English Language Arts and Literacy, Social Studies, Science, Career and Technical Education, English Language Learners and Bilingual Education, Special Education and Related Services, Physical Education, Athletics and Health, School Counseling and Guidance, Languages Other than English (foreign language), African and African American Studies, and School Intervention Services and Early Childhood Education.”
Two hundred, seventy-one teaching professionals are paid from this fund to teach teachers how to teach children.
With the Federal Common Core Standards handed down and accepted by the district, that function of this division is no longer necessary. Our children need more support than do our teachers.
Each year this division pulls $30 million plus out of the budget with no children being directly served by the expenditure. It may be a necessary part of the district’s operations however, cancelling an $850,000 contract with The Center for Youth Services and a $43,871 contract with Hillside Children’s Center when those contracts could have been funded by cuts to this division is not a child centered decision.
Under the redesign of the In School Suspension program, will any of the 271 employees of the Teaching and Learning division be counseling troubled students?
To be fair, thirty-three position were cut from this division, saving nearly $2 million dollars.
It is impossible to understand the importance of one position over another, especially when one is unfamiliar with the duties associated with the position. However, when a decision has to be made between removing children’s services and removing adult benefits, the priority should be children’s services.
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