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Schools Hit Hard By Multiple Cuts

Friday, December 19, 2008

City agencies have until Monday to tell the mayor how they'll comply with his request to find another seven percent worth of savings. As WNYC's Beth Fertig reports, the combination of state and local cuts would have a huge impact on the public schools.

REPORTER: All together, the city schools could get one point $5 billion less next year than expected. That figure includes $660 million in aid that won't be coming from Albany if the governor's new budget plan is approved, plus the cuts Bloomberg was already seeking.

Teachers union president Randi Weingarten says there's no way to spare the classrooms, following an earlier round of cuts this year.

WEINGARTEN: Music art, gone. After school gone.

REPORTER: The Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which won a lawsuit resulting in billions of extra dollars for the city schools, says it's looking into whether the governor's cuts would violate that settlement. The additional state dollars, and a previously flush economy, helped add $8 billion to the city's education budget since 2002, resulting in new textbooks, classroom libraries, science labs, computers and raises for teachers. For WNYC I'm Beth Fertig.

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