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Modest increase in budget restorations follows spike in appeals

Two-thirds of principals who pushed back about the budgets allocated to their schools got good news last week — and money in the bank.

Of the 250 appeals filed this year, 162 resulted in full or partial budget restoration, Department of Education officials said today.

But while the number of appeals was up 50 percent this year, the amount of money added back to school budgets rose by just 20 percent, meaning that each principal’s award was smaller on average.

Last year, 166 principals filed appeals and about two-thirds were successful, winning a total of $23 million from a central Department of Education emergency fund. This year, principals had the same rate of success but received just $4.7 million more, for a total of $27.7 million this year.

In July, we profiled two principals who were filing appeals for the first time. One of them, Joseph Nobile of P.S. 304 in the Bronx, received enough support to hire back five of the seven teachers and staff members he had cut, we reported last week.

The other principal, Lisa Siegman, told us today that to her “incredible relief,” P.S. 3 got a little more than $195,000 added back to its budget. She said that amount will allow her, at a minimum, to replace one teacher who left the school and add another teacher in first grade, where enrollment growth has made an additional class necessary.

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