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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Principal Should Take a Budgeting Class

School begins in a month and I have yet to be paid for work I did in the spring.  How does this happen?  Because my principal doesn't know how to budget funds.  For several years now, I have been paid in the autumn for work I performed in the previous school year. Sometimes waiting as long as six months for my earnings.

I am not alone in this predicament.  Other colleagues have told me they have not been paid for after-school activities or for coverages (and we had a lot of coverages since the administration failed to appropriately budget for substitute teachers).  What the hell!

And the accounting faux-pas don't end there.  Every year we run out of supplies before we run out of school days.  At staff meetings, we were emphatically told to continue teaching with rigor because "the school year is not over yet, people." Yet when I asked for staples, chalk, lightbulbs for projectors and EVEN COPY PAPER, the secretary just shook her head,  "We're out. Sorry."

Sorry.  Yes, my school is in a sorry state.
Demanding differentiation yet unable to allocate funds that would allow copying of materials for students who need larger print or leveled readings.
Expecting students to be engaged until the end of June when administrators themselves fail to allocate resources with foresight.
Insisting teachers perform duties for which administrators know they cannot pay them.
Sorry, indeed.

Does the DOE audit school budgets and look for these types of fiscal irresponsibility? And if they do, do they offer continuing education classes for principals who are clearly lacking skills in this area?

If so, I'd like to reserve a seat for one administrator. PLEASE.


  1. Call the union. They tried that with me and after I called the union, and told my AP I would grieve, I always get paid ON TIME.

    Good Luck

  2. When I worked in NYC I was blessed with an extremely intelligent, extremely competent AP who budgeted our funds wisely and always made sure everyone got paid. But I often heard stories about schools like yours where things were very different. It seems clear to me that the DOE is either piling too much responsibility on administrators or not vetting them well enough before assigning them to schools.

  3. Well... I guess you can just chalk it up to the Leadership Academy....and their wonderful training in budgeting. I wonder if they are even taught about that...GALAXY 101. In my school, we had to bring our own paper to the copy machine, and beg the students to bring in 3 reams of paper in September.