View Full Version : All NYC Doubts on Mayor Bloomberg's Forecast of 4,600 Teacher Layoffs

03-18-2011, 09:35 AM
This from N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/nyregion/18layoffs.html) by Sharon Otterman:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has been warning that 4,600 city teachers will receive pink slips this spring, as he pushes for legislation in Albany that would eliminate rules requiring that layoffs be based solely on seniority.

That number of layoffs will be necessary, the Bloomberg administration says, because budget cuts will eliminate about 6,100 teaching positions, and only 1,500 teachers will be lost due to attrition, the natural churn of teachers resigning, retiring, being fired or otherwise leaving their jobs.

But over the past two years, the city’s teaching force has shrunk by 2,000 to 2,500 each year through attrition, according to Department of Education statistics, suggesting that the city would need to lay off 500 to 1,000 fewer teachers than it has said.

Carol Kellermann, the president of the Citizens Budget Commission, an independent watchdog group, said the attrition estimate “struck us as low, based on historical norms.”

And the teachers’ union, which has fought dearly to keep seniority protections, called the city’s estimates part of a political game to scare people into backing an end to seniority.

The questions over the layoff projections come as the city tries to both protect its newest teachers from what it says would be widespread dismissals and to squeeze as much money out of Albany as possible. It is also squabbling with the governor’s office over how much the state would cut in city education aid.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office says its proposed budget would reduce education aid to New York City schools by $579 million. City education officials, however, say that the cut is $1.4 billion, in part because they were counting on receiving hundreds of millions of dollars more from the state in the next fiscal year than they did in the current one.

The governor took issue Thursday with the idea that any teacher layoffs would be necessary. “When they say, ‘Well, we’re going to lay off teachers, and we’re going to hurt children’ — that’s basically the threat in this discussion, right?” Mr. Cuomo said Thursday at a news conference at the Capitol.

“I don’t believe it,” he said, adding that he thought that the state’s school districts could cut more administrative costs to avert teacher layoffs. The city has not yet projected layoffs for any education employees beside teachers but says they are under consideration.

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