The city's senior management analyst and the acting superintendent of Buffalo Schools disagree on how far the money available this year for textbooks and supplies will go.
George Cotroneo, who watches the board budget for the Griffin administration, said instructional division personnel were wrong when they told members of the Board of Education last week that less money is available now than was spent last year.
Asked about Cotroneo's contention, Acting Superintendent Albert Thompson said that in terms of "real dollars," the textbook appropriation will not go as far as last year's amount and there is $250,000 less available for supplies.
Instructional Division personnel told the board there will be less money available for textbooks and supplies. The board, which balanced the budget within the city appropriation, has asked Mayor Griffin for a $5.2 million emergency appropriation that would provide:
$292,000 more for classroom supplies.
$312,9948 more for textbooks.
$1.4 million to cover bus transportation (85 percent reimbursable by the state) for high school students who live more than 1.5 miles but less than three miles from school.
$746,048 for sports.
$906,000 to lease space for severely handicapped children.
$438,522 for bus aides.
The supplemental request also includes $30,202 for extracurricular activities, $116,879 for a dropout-prevention program, $125,000 for infusing African culture into the curriculum and $37,988 for custodial work in connection with parents' nights.
Cotroneo contends that even without the supplemental appropriation from the mayor and the Common Council, the supply and textbooks funding is larger than last year's appropriation.
Cotroneo said it appears schools personnel compared the budgeted amount to their Feb. 1 request instead of the actual expenditures for 1988-1989.
"This was not money they had," Cotroneo said. "It was a wish, a hope, a dream. This is like a kid saying I asked my father for $5 and he only gave me $2.50."
Thompson agreed that the funded amount for textbooks may be higher but won't buy as much.
"In terms of real dollars this $2.4 million (this school year) won't go as far as $2.3 million (last year) because of the added cost of textbooks," Thompson said.
Cotroneo said the supply appropriation is almost $200,000 more than a year ago.
The final audited figures for the 1988-1989 school year are not complete.
Cotroneo said the increases show markedly when compared with the amounts spent two years ago.
The textbooks appropriation is 42 percent more than the audited figure two years ago and supply accounts have increased 15 percent in the same period, he said.