Mayor's Final Budget Includes 6,000 Teacher Cuts

Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented a final budget "full of difficult decisions" on Friday that included the loss of more than 6,000 teachers.

The city would cut funding by 15 percent for parks and recreation, by nearly 12 percent for libraries and by 9 percent for the children's services agency. The fire department would take a 2 percent hit. The police department would lose about 1 percent of its city funding.

"These are still very tough times for many New Yorkers, which makes the decisions in this budget even more difficult," Bloomberg said on Friday. "Our goal is to make sure we continue to have a strong city, and that we protect vital services and the social safety net that keep out communities healthy."

The mayor must negotiate with City Council to pass a balanced budget by June.

"We are forced to do the best we can with what we've got," Bloomberg said. "The state has shifted the burden from them to us."

The teachers' union quickly struck back at the mayor's cuts.

"Same smoke, same mirrors, same attempt to blame others for his decision to lay off thousands of teachers, despite increased state aid, hundreds of millions in new revenues and a surplus that has grown to more than $3.2 billion," said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew in a statement.

With the Associated Press