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The list of unanswered questions that explains Sullivan's no vote

The man who made sure the city’s school budget vote was legal used his own vote to say no to the proposed budget.

A key reason Patrick Sullivan opposed is that school officials still had not responded to a long list of budget questions he submitted two weeks ago, Sullivan told me. The questions, which are posted in full after the jump, reflect the difficulty of getting information from the department.

Here’s one of Sullivan’s questions:

Last time we had this exchange we were told DOE does not know how many charter students are in DOE facilities. But then at the Bronx meeting Kathleen Grimm said we do know. Can someone tell us please?

Sullivan is often the only member of the school board, currently known as the Panel for Educational Policy, to speak out against the mayor’s policies. But he wasn’t the only panel member asking questions about the budget at this morning’s surprise school board meeting. Two other members appointed by borough presidents (Sullivan was appointed by Manhattan’s Scott Stringer) also asked question, but they ended up voting yes to the budget.

“The difference is that unless they provide this, I’m not going to support the budget,” Sullivan said.

Below the jump, the full list of questions Sullivan sent the DOE that remained unanswered today:

List of Unanswered Questions Provided June 4th.

Enrollment

It is essential that we understand enrollment trends as dropping enrollment does not square with the budget increases we are seeing.

Many costs for charter school operations — facilities, food, transport — are borne by the DOE budget. Last time we had this exchange we were told DOE does not know how many charter students are in DOE facilities. But then at the Bronx meeting Kathleen Grimm said we do know. Can someone tell us please?

You point us to the online S-FORMS but I don’t see charter schools there.
Please provide a list of charters with an indication of their DOE facility number, enrollment, and other blue book statistics.

Unit of Appropriation 401,402, 403, 404

What are costs for scoring state tests? Do schools bear them?
What are costs for scoring G&T tests? Do schools bear them?

415, 416, 453, 454 Central and Field

Please provide more detail on specific cuts and increases.
Many “cuts” at this level appear to actually be reassignment of costs to schools. Which cuts will likely result in increased costs for schools?
What are costs for periodic assessments?

What is the budget and head count of the press office?
What is the budget and head count of the office of accountability?
The percentage of children classified as special education continues to increase. Does anyone know why?

438 Transportation

Why is this cost increasing when enrollment is decreasing?
Can you show the numbers by borough and type of school (public/charter/non-public)? By type of cost – metro card / busing?
It is an enormous number — 1 billion+. Is there a more detail available? By school? By provider of transportation services?

440 School Food Service

Why increasing?
Please show costs or units (meals) by type and level of school.

442 School Safety

Why is this increasing? There needs to be cuts here in accordance with cuts to schools.

444 Energy and Leases

Can we see energy separately from leases?

461 Fringe Benefits

Where does funding for UFT merit bonuses come from?
Will merit bonuses be incorporated into the pattern wage increase or will they be incremental to pattern increases?

481 Categorical Programs

Please provide detail of funding by program.

Debt Service

What is in this number?
Please show separately for public schools, charters, private schools utilizing city bonding authority, etc.

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