NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A whopping 15,000 teacher layoffs were threatened by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday to deal with expected cuts in state aid to education.
But parents don’t like that one bit.
The “education mayor” may have a big hole in his school budget courtesy of the tight times in Albany.
“The scuttlebutt is that the education budget will be cut state-wide, and New York City’s share of that will be a billion dollar cut,” Bloomberg told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
The mayor said that if the cut is that big he’ll have to get rid of 15,000 teachers — on top of the 6,000 reduction in teacher jobs already in his budget.
The cuts are so big the mayor said the only way to do it is to change the hiring system so that instead of seniority, schools can keep the good teachers and get rid of the bad ones.
“In the private sector nobody would do last in, first out. You do, you know, who are the most productive and you say to the others look it would have been nice if we could afford it but the world isn’t that way,” Bloomberg said.
If the law isn’t changed and the mayor has to lay off 15,000 more teachers it would mean:
* Firing every teacher hired in the last five years
* Many of them teaching in poor and minority communities
* At a time when there are 1,200 teachers in the system who received an unsatisfactory rating last year.
Parents said they want the mayor to join them in fighting the cuts.
“I think how powerful would it be — parents, community you people — together along with the mayor, who has great power to Albany and say we’re not accepting this,” said Zakiyah Ansari of the Alliance for Quality Education.
“It’s absolutely horrible. We need smaller classed and better teachers and more, you know. They need more money, too. It’s always the first thing to go and it’s just unfair really because children are our future,” West Side resident Kia Graves added.
Union officials said the mayor should fight to get the extension of the millionaire’s tax so the cuts wont be necessary.
“New York City has a loss of almost 5,000 educators in the last five years, class sizes have sky rocketed across the city in every grade level. If we continue to do these cuts we are going to have a catastrophic effect on children’s education and we cannot let that happen,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said.
The millionaire’s tax raises up to $5 billion, but it is supposed to end this year.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he wants to let it sunset because he thinks raising taxes right now is counterproductive to growing the economy.
Are you worried your child might get left behind if thousands of teachers are laid off? Let us know about it in the comments section below.