4,278: That’s the magic number of teacher layoffs Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed for New York City, plus another 1,500 teaching jobs cut via attrition, in his new budget, announced today. The cuts aim to save $400 million across agencies to address “a multibillion-dollar deficit in his $65.6 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1,” the New York Times reports. All of these numbers sound ugly, but Bloomberg assures, “I understand the frustration that parents and teachers feel; I feel it too.” He promises, “We are not going to walk away from our education system.” A protest march to Wall Street has already been planned for May 12.
City Council must still approve the budget and they don’t seem too pleased so far.
On Friday, Bloomberg did go back on his proposal to cut 16,000 child-care slots and will “preserve 4,400 of the 16,000 slots for low-income children at day care centers that faced elimination”:
“While it is a step in the right direction, it is unclear if what the Administration has put on the table is really an appropriate solution to the significant reduction of funding to the child care system,” said Council Member Annabel Palma, Chair of the General Welfare Committee. “More conversations and details are needed since it is unclear how services can remain in tact for all 16,500 children with $40 million instead of $91 million; it is also unclear what the impact will be on existing out-of-school programs, providers, child care centers and classrooms.”
“This is 3-card monte,” said Council member David Greenfield of Brooklyn, a Democrat who has often been a Bloomberg ally. “They leak a story about how they’ve restored money but they’ve done anything but restore child care. It’s fundamentally dishonest.”
Council members are also pissed that Bloomberg didn’t even show up to give the bad news, but left it to his budget director, and one called the mayor’s attitude “gotta go.”
As for the planned protest…
After trillions in taxpayer funded bailouts, Wall Street is making billions in profits and giving away record bonuses to CEOs. But our communities are still hurting. Here in New York City, tens of thousands have lost their homes and their jobs. Now, Billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg is proposing devastating budget cuts as the only solution to the economic crisis that Wall Street caused. Enough is Enough. On Thursday May 12, 2011 we’ll be bringing some of that spirit of Wisconsin to Wall Street when thousands of people, from all walks of life, converge in a unique and inspiring action in the heart of the financial world — Wall Street. Join us — because it’s time to make the Big Banks and Millionaires pay!
[NYT, On May 12]