Here is where you can watch today’s state Senate hearing on education budget cuts, live on the Internet. Richard Mills, the state education commissioner, is now urging lawmakers to continue doling out promised Campaign for Fiscal Equity payments — even if the scheduled increases have to slow down somewhat. Governor Paterson’s budget proposal calls for freezing the CFE increases, and delaying the promised hundreds of millions still left to come for several years.
To watch the live Internet video, make sure you have Real Player downloaded. Chancellor Joel Klein will testify soon.
Here’s Mills testifying, and more about what he said is below the jump:
Mills said that the delays in Campaign for Fiscal Equity payouts Governor Paterson proposes would force the poorest communities — this must include New York City schools — to lose the largest proportion of their budgets. He said he understands that not all the CFE money that was promised can be paid out in the schedule it was promised. But he said that some of it has to keep coming.
“We should spread it out over a couple years, but we should always be paying down that commitment,” he said. “If we stop, if we go backwards, it’s going to be almighty difficult to go back again.”
Mills also stressed the importance of teacher mentoring programs. “You don’t learn how to do this on your own,” said Mills, himself a former New York City teacher (at Dalton!). “I didn’t learn how to do this on my own. It takes experienced people to help you.”
Quick context: Remember Mills recently announced his intention to retire. The Board of Regents is actively hunting for his replacement.