Monday, March 10, 2014

Public comment on budget projections

Cohane: important to point out a few things that are a little disturbing
"we talk about trying to reduce the gap of net school spending, rather than eliminating it, very disturbing to me"
talk about what goes into net school spending and what doesn't
rather than what we need and what children should have
do need to lobby state on foundation budget
in the meantime can't shortchange our children
is the net school spending deficit included in the projection?
Allen: no, no effort to decrease gap in NSS included
Cohane: when we compare ourselves to other cities, see school choice number increasing, money walking out the door with those kids, student population leveling
if we want to be competitive as a home for the middle class, we have to
surrounding communities spending 7-10% over foundation "and we sit here being proud that the original proposal was $100,000 over foundation"

Steigman: in the city, we keep seeing cuts and challenges
"at what point do we say we can't wait for them, we have to do what we can"
"at some point, we have to start being accountable"
"you're going to have to work even harder"
"begging's not enough...make it happen, and don't wait for the state and fed"
"I don't believe that a high school...fix the schools that we have today..."

Gruszka: "amen to the previous two comments"
"what percentage, given current figures, would city have to be at to provide level service"
and the $27M? "you get close to what Mr. Cohane was talking about"
about 8.5%
and what about the $11.7 in cuts in positions? It would be 200 positions

Economou: chapter 70, "outdated when it hit the paper"
Allen: Legislature fully knows that the foundation budget is underfunded, "is facing sticker shock"
state chapter 70 is about $4 billion, underfunded by $2 billion; underfunded by 50%
look at multiyear changes
Foley: state level expects city to step up, go to state and show what we're doing
Toomey: fight for a long time, whole state issue
willing, as my colleagues are, to work on the city side as well

Comment from Mr. Gruszka that it is difficult for a legislator to fight for additional state funding when the city is so far below its levy limit. 

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