Brian Zumhagen has been a weekend anchor at WNYC since 2003. His career in journalism started in 1993, with an internship in the press office of the German Green Party’s parliamentary delegation. Brian went on to spend the rest of the ‘90s working as a reporter, producer, and fill-in anchor at NPR member station KQED in San Francisco. He’s returned to Germany several times over the years for reporting projects. Most recently, he won a grant from the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship to produce radio features for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Before coming to WNYC, Brian was a frequent contributor to PRI’s The World. He reported for the program on 9/11 and served as the show’s United Nations correspondent during the run-up to the Iraq war. Brian lives in Queens with his wife and children.
NYC Officials Warn of Teacher Layoffs
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
New York City may have to eliminate 8,500 teaching positions next year if proposed doomsday budget cuts go through in Albany.
That was Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's message today to the City Council's Education Committee.
After he testified before the committee, Klein said officials need to look for more ways to close a $1.2 billion budget gap without having to lay off teachers.
"We want to do as much as possible to make sure the quality of educational services to our children is not affected," Klein says. "That's gotta be, for all the adults, the focus."
Klein says he'll make more cuts to the administrative budget and double his efforts to secure federal funds under the Race to the Top program. He also wants state lawmakers to change the law that restrict how officials to make layoff decisions.
"We would be required to execute layoffs strictly on the basis of seniority, without regard to the effectiveness of individual teachers, or to their expertise," Klein says.
He is calling on state lawmakers to change that law, known as "last in, first out." But some council members and teachers union president Michael Mulgrew accused Klein of seeking to eliminate the highest-paid teachers.
"Trying to tell people that your years of service can be used against you because of your salary, I think that's sending a pretty clear message that you don't care about the people who work for you," Mulgrew says.
During his testimony before the council, Mulgrew said a retirement incentive would be a more just way to save money.