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With the Mayor and Governor proposing steep budget cuts to schools for 2021, MORE calls on the DOE to do everything possible to focus cuts to central offices, not cut funding for schools that will lead to staff layoffs or excessing. While we continue to demand new statewide taxes on the ultra wealthy to raise revenue for schools, in the meantime, New York City must prioritize classroom and school positions and ensure that no staff are excessed as a result of budget cuts. Education officials and advocates have identified as much as $570 million of possible savings on expenditures on central office bureaucrats, consultants, and contractors.The city bureaucrats who are pushing cuts to student-facing staff are just as out of touch as the millionaires and billionaires who refuse to pay their fair share. 

MORE also calls on the UFT to stand up for new teachers and oppose any cuts to school budgets that would lead to widespread excessing. The UFT administration of Michael Mulgrew has essentially said that we must be strong and endure excessing, as it will be better than facing layoffs. At the April 2020 Delegate Assembly, Mr. Mulgrew said, “Haven’t had major excessing in 12 years. Not sure how we can avoid it this year. City and State are in major cash flow deficit.”  This is unacceptable. Our union must fight harder. How can they know it can’t be avoided if they haven’t organized members to fight hard for the taxes on the ultra wealthy and for cuts to the DOE’s wasteful spending on central offices? 

At that Delegate Assembly, Mr. Mulgrew also said, “We have to play by the rules. It’s painful to see people being excessed. We will make sure DOE will train HR directors in rules and share them with principals. As a culture, educators are tied to a classroom or building. Not personal, but some schools will lose lines.” 

How can this not be personal? This shows a lack of connection with school communities and with the impacts loss of staff will have on our students. The existing relationships teachers and staff have with their students and families are crucial as we continue remote learning. Excessing teachers or other school staff will hurt those relationships and ultimately hurt our students, who will face larger class sizes and less support as a result. We must do everything possible to keep our school communities strong and consistent through retaining staff and fully funding our classrooms.  

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