Today’s news:

DOE opens budget gripe mail box- Brooklyn parents invited to forward criticism and complaints via e-mail

Parents can now voice their frustrations directly to the city Department of Education (DOE).

The DOE has created an e-mail address for parents and the public to send their thoughts and concerns on severe budget cuts to be implemented in public schools.

E-mails can be sent to DOEBudget@schools.nyc.gov.

Parents will likely have much to say since public schools will lose millions of dollars this year alone.

On November 5th, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the DOE would lose $181 million this year and $385 million next year. He also announced the elimination of nearly 500 “non-school-based positions” in administrative posts, including staffers at school support organizations and Integrated Service Centers, which provide schools with payroll, human resources, and food services.

Last week, Governor David Paterson announced proposed state budget cuts that would decrease funding for New York City public schools by $255 million.

Parents and educators fear the budget cuts will lead to increased class size and the limiting or elimination of enrichment programs like art, music and drama.

“Today principals received information from central regarding the impact it will have on their school’s budget,” District 21 Community Superintendent Richard D’Auria’s explained at last week’s meeting of the local Community Education Council (CEC).

Principals will now work with their School Leadership Teams (SLT) to determine where to cut funding.

To correspond with the announcement to principals, all city schools sent their students home with a letter from schools Chancellor Joel Klein discussing the budget cuts.

The letter notes, “Revenues are down and the city has no choice but to cut back.”

Klein goes on to say that the DOE is reducing funding for its administrative posts at the department’s Tweed Courthouse headquarters in Manhattan.

“We will cut back dramatically outside of our schools,” Klein wrote.

However, he said that the central administration cannot absorb the full funding loss.

“It is simply impossible to find all of the required savings outside of schools,” Klein said.

Parents have applauded the DOE’s funding cuts to Tweed and argued that more should be made instead of slashing funding for individual schools.

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