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To choose what to cut, officials crafted a priorities chart

Earlier today I wrote about budget cuts at Tweed Courthouse, the Department of Education’s headquarters, which have somehow managed to coincide with an increase in staff there. David Cantor, the DOE press secretary, just called me to clarify some of what he told me about internal decisions.

I’ve updated the post to reflect the new intel, the juiciest bit of which I’ll paste here:

as the scope of the crisis was sinking in late last year, Chancellor Joel Klein ordered every department at headquarters — from teaching and learning to the press shop — to draw up a proposal under which it would cut 10% of its budget.

But the plans were precautionary to begin with. According to David Cantor, a DOE spokesman, every department hoped it wouldn’t have to make all of the cuts it proposed. As school officials began to get a sense of how much money they had available, they decided the full 10% across-the-line cut would not be necessary. Cuts happened according to a master priority list crafted by top school officials, who decided which programs should be the first to go and which should be the last.

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