20 Fire Companies Will Not Be Saved, But City Plans To Hire More Teachers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented a new budget Thursday that has some good news and some bad news.

Most New York City taxpayers will be cheering the $68.7 billion budget because although it has some revenue shortfalls, the mayor won’t be dipping his hands into your pockets to find the funds, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

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“The budget we’re submitting won’t impose any new taxes on New Yorkers. [It] maintains the strength of the NYPD and continued or strong support for public schools,” Bloomberg said.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

True, but there is no money in the budget to keep open 20 fire companies throughout the five boroughs, something the City Council will have to fight the mayor on. In addition, 52,000 children currently in city-sponsored after-school programs serving low income neighborhoods will lose their spots to save $170 million.

“Although budget constraints do force us to make cuts in some services, keep in mind those reductions are against levels of service that our administration raised to historic highs during better economic times,” Bloomberg said.

“When we can afford it, we can provide more services. When we can’t it’s more difficult to do, but we are still going to provide services that the less fortunate need and that all of us need.”

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

However, the city does plan to hire more teachers — about 1,000 — for the first time since 2008. Many of the teachers will be in special education schools like P.S. 178 in the Bronx, which is regarded as one of the best of its kind in the city.

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Little Ricky DeJesus is an autistic second grader.

“We have our therapists here; our occupational therapist is here; the psychologists are on site. The teachers are always willing to work with the parents,” Madeline DeJesus said.

The teachers at P.S. 178 hope some of the city’s largess filters down to them.

“These teachers need held. These students need help. Sometimes you have two tough kids and that’s tough. That’s why we need more teachers and more teachers’ assistants,” special ed paraprofessional Sule Jawula said.

The city is proud of its improving economy. Despite the continuing recession, the city has recovered 180 percent of the private sector jobs lost in the downturn. That compares with just 40 percent nationwide. Officials said.

The biggest gains have been scored in tourism and the film and movie business, officials said.

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