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Principals not actually getting budget details today after all

Principals and reporters who thought they were going to get a first look at Mayor Bloomberg’s school budget proposal this afternoon were just told that the Department of Education has cancelled its two planned budget briefings. The reason for the cancellation, according to a DOE spokeswoman, is that the department doesn’t yet know exactly what Chancellor Joel Klein would be able to tell them.

A City Council source told Liz yesterday that the executive budget proposal Mayor Bloomberg is scheduled to reveal on Friday is likely to contain substantial school budget cuts.

But a DOE spokeswoman said the budget situation remains “fluid,” making a briefing for principals today impractical. “We’re just waiting until we have a better sense of what the actual numbers look like,” said Ann Forte of the DOE. She said the event would be rescheduled, but no time has yet been set and it is unlikely that the DOE will be able to brief principals before Bloomberg is scheduled to present his budget on Friday.

Right now, the DOE is frantically reaching out to principals to let them know that they shouldn’t come to Manhattan’s Norman Thomas High School later this afternoon after all. Forte said the department is contacting principals by phone and e-mail, and network leaders from external school support organizations are also trying to spread the word about the cancellation.