Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org. She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.
Budget Cuts Hit Schools Hard
Thursday, December 18, 2008
New York, NY —
The city's Department of Education is preparing a list of possible budget cuts, to be delivered to City Hall on Monday, following Mayor Bloomberg's request that agencies slice another seven percent from their budgets. The schools could wind up with a total of $1.5 billion LESS next year than expected. Bloomberg has warned that there's no room left to cut from administration and that classrooms are bound to suffer.
Teachers' union president Randi Weingarten agrees, saying principals were already forced to cut back after-school programs last school year.
WEINGARTEN: Somebody can look at it in terms of class sizes will skyrocket, somebody can look at it in terms of no classes other than maybe math and English and maybe social studies and science, only because they're required.
Weingarten is among those calling for a new tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers to help plug the gap. She also says the federal government needs to help the states.