The DOE’s final public hearings on the 2008-2009 proposed Contracts for Excellence — the city’s plan for how to spend increased school funding from the state — are being held in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx at 6 p.m. The DOE has released fairly detailed spending plans for districts and schools, and they’re worth examining.

While the Contracts For Excellence are meant to be spent on specific initiatives that fall into a handful of categories dictated by the state, a great deal of the DOE’s planned expenditures seem to reflect the department’s existing initiatives, such as the Leadership Academy and differentiated pay for teachers. For a critical look at the city’s proposed plan, which must be approved by the state before the $385 million will be awarded, take a look at Leonie Haimson’s “40 reasons why NY state should reject the city’s Contract for Excellence proposal.”

If you can’t make it tonight, the public comment period extends until Aug. 22; email ContractsForExcellence@schools.nyc.gov with your thoughts — and post them in the comments, too!