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Mulgrew says school bureaucracy should take deeper cuts

Warning that the city’s cuts to public schools will “eradicate just about every service and program out there,” teachers union president Michael Mulgrew called for deeper cuts to the education bureaucracy today.

Mulgrew testified on the planned four percent cuts to schools citywide, but mainly focused his comments on what he called “unchecked” spending by the Department of Education on everything but schools. This includes criticism of the DOE for increasing the number of deputy chancellors and giving salary increases to those people, re-categorizing positions instead of eliminating them, and taking credit for cutting more administrative positions than they really did.

While the DOE has increased the number of deputy chancellors and their paychecks, Mulgrew’s explanation of the personnel cuts is wanting.

Citing the city’s claim to have eliminated 550 administrative positions since 2008, Mulgrew says that in fact, the department has only cut 214 positions. If you’re only looking at the number of Department of Education staffers who were cut through layoffs, resignations, or attrition, Mulgrew’s number is correct. But it doesn’t include the vacancies the DOE has decided not to fill.

The department’s most recent data, which unfortunately is a year old, show 211 people cut from the payroll and 264 vacancies that were eliminated. That comes to a total of 475 administrative positions cut between 2008 and 2009. By the city’s own estimation, it cut an additional 75 positions in the last year, but a spokeswoman for the DOE said an official tally has not been completed.

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