First, let me commend Central Office for restoring some desperately needed funds to schools facing devastating cuts for 2013-2014 in positions and budget.
A small step in the right direction, and a significant one.
I wish the numbers in the publicly-facing Financial dashboard for the public had been updated IN ADVANCE of the vote on the budget taken by the Board of Education, since the numbers that have just been released have been the numbers that principals have been working with for awhile now. If the Board of Education and Central Office are truly, sincerely interested in engaging parents in a thoughtful way, giving us access to timely and accurate data in advance of important votes—so that we can review it and engage in informed discussion about it—is critical to rebuilding the trust that has been lost over the past 12 months.
It doesn’t get all of us to a fully-funded longer day. And neighborhood schools (that are not part of the Welcoming School list) still seem to be bearing the lion’s share of these cuts. I still believe we should be engaging in more student-centered/school-centered budgeting. But it is a beginning.