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Council Report Accuses DOE of Wasteful Spending

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein is scheduled to testify at a city council hearing on the education budget. The city schools face hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cuts in the coming year, and with budget talks still going on in Albany, it's not entirely clear how much state aid the city will get.

Meanwhile, City Councilman Bill DeBlasio released a report accusing the education department of wasteful spending, especially on testing.

DEBLASIO: We're going far beyond the federal requirements and the basics and spending a lot more on additional testing and pre-testing that we don't need in the middle of a fiscal crisis.

REPORTER: DeBlasio singled out an $80 million computer network for tracking data, and more than $20 million a year in benchmark testing. He also complained about the department's $1.3 million communications budget.

But a spokesman for Chancellor Joel Klein noted that President Obama has called on districts to invest more in data systems to help drive student performance. He also said the councilman overstated the size of the central office and press operation.

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