Friday, May 6, 2011

Bloomberg to Lay Off Thousands of Teachers

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Friday unveiled at City Hall what he called a "budget full of difficult decisions" that includes the loss of more than 6,000 teachers.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Friday that he intended to eliminate 4,100 teaching jobs through layoffs, and about 2,000 through attrition, the first significant layoffs of teachers since the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.

The job cuts are part of Mr. Bloomberg’s effort to slice an additional $400 million from various city agencies. He needs to plug a multibillion-dollar deficit in his $65.6 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1. That budget is about the same size as the current one.

Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president, criticized the mayor’s lack of transparency in releasing his budget. “This document is political,” he said. “This is not the way we should be running the city.”

The deep cuts to the city’s schools are similar to what the mayor proposed in February, though the number of layoffs is slightly less.

Mr. Bloomberg, during his budget presentation at City Hall, faulted the state for the necessity of layoffs among the 75,000 teachers. In 2008, he said, the state paid 45 percent of the city’s education costs; next fiscal year, he said, the state would pay 39 percent.

“I understand the frustration that parents and teachers feel; I feel it too,” he said. “We are not going to walk away from our education system.”

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