Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (D-30, Queens) was joined by Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-25, Queens), and 40 members of the Parent Teachers Association of P.S. 128, today to rally outside of P.S. 128, on the corner of 69th Street and 66th Road, to call on the Department of Education to renege on their plan to cut the “Deferred Program Planning Initiative” (DPPI) by taking back 50 % of schools’ reserves. To date, principals have been allowed to save money from funding allocations and rollover those funds to the next year to help off-set future budget cuts. Last month, the DOE announced the cut to the DPPI and has extended its deadline, from March 4 to March 18, for principals to decide to spend their savings by June or give back those funds to the DOE.
Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (D-30, Queens) stated: “Taking 50% of our schools’ reserves will to do little to close a budget gap but will have a big impact on the programs schools can provide for our students. We are telling the Mayor and the DOE to note cut our schools reserves—it’s bad education policy, it’s bad management policy and it’s bad budget policy. The DPPI has allowed our schools to be fiscally responsible and ensures that money meant for our local schools, stays in our local schools. For the DOE to tap into schools’ budget funds and blame budget deficits is disingenuous.”
Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-25, Queens) stated: “The DOE’s proposal will hurt schools that had the sense to save some money for a rainy day if they take away the school’s rollover funds. I am demanding that the DOE immediately back away from this ridiculous proposal and allow our principals and School Leadership Teams (SLT) to make these decisions. The principals and the SLTs know best how to run their school’s budget.”
The Deferred Planning Program Initiative was enacted by the DOE to allow schools to save unspent money for the future. This year, the DOE issued a mandate that modified the program to allow schools to save only 50% of their surplus for the next year. Schools will have until March 18th to decide not to opt into the rollover program and then they will have until June to spend this year’s budget. Last year, Chancellor Joel Klein told principals in early January that they would not be able to rollover unused funds but reversed that decree a week later.