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GothamSchools to principals: Tell us how you cut your budget

GothamSchools asked principals how they’re handling this year’s sizable mid-year cuts and how they plan to cope with the even larger cuts that loom in the near future. We’ll be compiling their responses on an ongoing basis, so please encourage principals you know to tell us what they’re cutting from their schools.

So far, we’ve heard from a Brooklyn principal who said, “We will have to eliminate about 5 positions …This flies in the face of the success we have had by lowering class size.”

And the principal of a large school in Queens wrote, “As of now we have been able to absorb the initial cut without any major changes to instructional programs. … If they make an additional cut, which we heard might happen, this year, then we will have to excess teachers mid-year.”

Read all of the responses. After the jump, see the letter we sent principals.

GothamSchools’ letter to principals:

I’m a reporter at GothamSchools, a daily news site about the New York City schools. I know some of you, and I know that you’re reading our site. I hope to meet more of you in the weeks ahead.

I’m writing right now to ask about what I’m sure has been a major focus for you this year, the budget cuts. Just this morning, we learned that Governor Paterson may cut funding to schools by as much as $600 million next year. Mayor Bloomberg has proposed cutting city funds to schools by $385 million.

During this incredibly tough period, we think it’s important to keep an accurate and complete record of exactly how cuts are affecting the public schools. To do this, we need your help.

I hope you’ll consider responding to this e-mail to let us know how much you’ve cut so far and what the cuts mean for your school. (What programs or services have you eliminated or scaled back this year? What do you think you’ll have to cut next year if the city and state go through with their plans to slash school budgets by much more than in any recent year?)

We’ll be compiling the responses we receive at our site, If you don’t want to identify yourself or your school publicly, that’s fine, just let us know and we’ll only print the identification you’re comfortable with (“Brooklyn elementary school,” for example, or “Queens high school.”)

I’m happy to answer questions, about this or about GothamSchools.

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