Beth Fertig is WNYC’s Contributing Editor for Education. She previously covered politics, which included City Hall during the Giuliani administration, and the U.S. Senate campaigns of Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. She also covered transportation and infrastructure.
Bloomberg Warns More Teacher Layoffs Likely if State Cuts Aid
Friday, January 28, 2011
The city may have to cut an additional 10,000 to 15,000 teaching positions if the budget Governor Andrew Cuomo unveils next week includes deep reductions in education funds, Mayor Bloomberg warned Friday.
"I don't know if it's true or not but scuttlebutt is that the education budget will be cut statewide, and New York City's share of that would be $1 billion dollar cut," Bloomberg said during a weekly appearance on WOR radio.
Bloomberg was already planning to eliminate 6,000 teaching positions this fall because of the city's own financial difficulties and the end of federal stimulus dollars.
The Governor's budget will be unveiled on Tuesday.
Bloomberg used the threat of layoffs to urge the state legislature to end the "last in, first out" rule that requires the city to let go of its most recent hires first during budget cuts.
He speculated that a cut of $1 billion would mean losing all teachers hired in the last four to five years. The teachers union has fought to keep this job protection for senior employees, arguing that they'd otherwise be the first to go because they make more money.
Bloomberg also called for ending a $12,000 annual holiday bonus for retired firefighters and police officers their unions support. He said the savings could be used to prevent teacher layoffs but the state legislature would have to approve such a change in benefits.