Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cerf: Newark school budget deficit is all Cami Anderson’s fault | Bob Braun's Ledger

Cerf: Newark school budget deficit is all Cami Anderson’s fault | Bob Braun's Ledger:

Cerf: Newark school budget deficit is all Cami Anderson’s fault



Cami Anderson? I don't know Cami Anderson and, besides, it's all her fault. (MIke Simpson)
Cami Anderson? I don’t know Cami Anderson and, besides, it’s all her fault. (MIke Simpson)


The state official running the Newark schools conceded at Tuesday night’s school board meeting that his predecessor–a woman he appointed–created a $63 million budget shortfall by relying on assumptions that “turned out not to be true.” Christopher Cerf, who named Cami Anderson to the Newark job four years ago, quickly added he didn’t believe she and her staff had deliberately lied about the budget or had done anything illegal.
Cerf, the former state education commissioner and a business entrepreneur whose company held contracts with the Newark schools, was then quickly put on the defensive by a school board member who accused him of budget manipulations in the effort to prevent the district from running out of money by the end of the year.
“This is a crisis,” said Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson of the budget shortfall that has resulted in a spending freeze at schools throughout the state’s largest school district. Baskerville-Richardson demanded that Cerf admit his own responsibility for the district’s financial troubles.
He angrily replied, “Okay–I accept responsibility.”
But, clearly he did not, all but dismissing the financial troubles as a problem he can resolve by the end of the year. Meanwhile, principals have complained they cannot pay for basic supplies and services like security because the district has frozen individual school budgets to save money to prevent the state-operated district from running out of money before July 1, 2017.
The three false assumptions were, at best, stretches. Anderson, he said, had “seriously overestimated” the number of employees, especially expensive Cerf: Newark school budget deficit is all Cami Anderson’s fault | Bob Braun's Ledger:

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