Schools Chancellor Joel Klein says he's optimistic the federal stimulus will be able to avert any layoffs in the public schools.
But he says it'll only be possible if Albany helps out as well, by giving the city more flexibility over how it spends state school aid so no schools bear too great a burden.
KLEIN: When you're in tight budget times we want to be equitable to all our schools, the mayor talked about that at some length. I've certainly urged people to give us that flexibility but we have to look at a whole bunch of rules that apply and we will do everything in our power to be equitable.
REPORTER: Right now, schools in middle class neighborhoods get less aid than schools with many students in poverty.
But the parent group Class Size Matters says that funding formula was set up for a reason, and helps schools lower class sizes for students at the greatest risk.