Public Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is asking the public to remain patient as the City Council and Mayor continue to negotiate the city budget - and whether or not teachers really will be laid off.
"Pink slips, if they're going to go out, need to go out by end of school year and to be fair to work force," he said at a library event Thursday in Manhattan's Chinatown. "But we still have time to talk with folks. It's not my goal to send out pink slips, but at same time based on our budget deficit that's what we've been talking about."
Walcott says he's been giving this message repeatedly as he attends community meetings and when he met with principals at a conference last Saturday. Walcott also acknowledged that many teachers with less experience in the system may be looking for new jobs. A state law grants seniority protections to teachers during layoffs.
The city could send out notices over the summer if budget talks continue after the school year officially ends on June 28. The mayor plans to eliminate 6,100 teaching positions, about two-thirds of them through layoffs.
The teachers union continues to insist layoffs can be avoided, but the mayor says he needs to plug next year's deficit.