It was announced on Thursday that New York mayor Michael Bloomberg intends to get rid of more than 4,200 teaching jobs in the area through layoffs and another 1,500 more through attrition, or the wearing down of the positions, making for the most teacher layoffs since the 1970s. Bloomberg is hoping to cut an additional $400 million from city agencies to help fund a multibillion dollar deficit in his $65.6 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year, according to the New York Times.
The paper also says that Bloomberg blamed the state for the need for so many teacher layoffs. "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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On the bright side, Bloomberg announced that his administration plans to open 10 new senior centers that would serve upwards of 300 people. The paper also says that one of these centers will serve the visually impaired, while another center will serve the LGBT community.
What’s also interesting is that Bloomberg plans to shy away from his initial proposal to eradicate nearly 16,000 child care slots. The city is expected to take care of 4,400 of those slots along with the Department of Youth and Community Development’s Out-of-School Time program taking over another 10,500 slots of the low-income children currently at day care centers. There’s still more than 1,000 slots open for elimination with children and their families waiting for any information back from the council and its budget plans.
Living in southern California, I’m very familiar with the teacher and pink slip crisis going on in public schools. My teacher friends are continuously worried each day about the jeopardy of their jobs and their class sizes growing each year, resulting in a poor student-teacher relationship and lower test scores.
We’re hoping Bloomberg, and every major in the metropolitan areas of the nation, will figure out ways to keep teachers teaching and keep students where they need to be.