Details of the midyear budget transfers
The city school system has posted on its Web site the details of the midyear budget transfers. A refresher: Principals last spring were permitted to project their enrollment for this academic year, and schools were funded based on projected enrollment. Now, the system is readjusting budgets -- adding to some schools and taking away from others -- based on how many kids actually showed up. The idea is that the money follows the child.
On the system's Web site, you can see the difference between projected and actual enrollment and how much money was gained or lost at each school. Though the Alonso administration was clear that these would be the rules of the new world order, I'm surprised there haven't been more public compaints about these midyear transfers, given the enormous impact at some schools. Teachers and other staff will be transferring in and out as a result.
For example, Booker T. Washington Middle School had 158 fewer students than projected and lost $1 million from its budget this year. Patterson High got 189 more students than expected and gained nearly $1.2 million.
The gains and losses in most places aren't that large, but they're in the six-figure range for at least a few dozen schools. And some of the schools where enrollment was less than projected include high-performers such as Roland Park and Leith Walk.
After the adjustments, most schools still ended up with more money than they had last year. But of course, their responsibilities are now much greater as a result of the central office decentralization.