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City's Revised Budget Slashes Teaching Jobs

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Mayor Bloomberg says the city will need to cut nearly 11,000 jobs.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his revised $62.9 billion budget released Thursday, says the city must slash nearly 11,000 jobs. Nearly half of the projected layoffs would be from the Department of Education; the executive budget for next year calls for a reduction of more than 6,000 teachers through layoffs and attrition. Bloomberg says absent some last minute reprieve from Albany, and quick action in Washington, the city has no choice. The mayor says the job cuts will affect every school in the system.

School's Chancellor Joel Klein says layoff notices should go out after principals have drawn up their budgets.

"The latest we can get our budgets to the schools are in June. They'll start to make decisions, and during the process in June we'll have to identify the people who are being laid off," Klein says.

Currently, which teachers are let go is entirely based on seniority rights.

Both Bloomberg and Klein want to keep the best teachers and let go of the ones they determine to be poorer performers.

The job reductions also include 400 firefighter positions. The police department will not be affected, though. The mayor has reversed his earlier proposal from January to reduce the police force by 892 officers. The reversal comes after a recent spike in crime, and the attempted car bombing in Times Square over the weekend.

Other cuts proposed in Bloomberg’s preliminary spending plan are still in the budget released Thursday and include closing some public swimming pools, eliminating 20 fire engine companies, raising parking rates in midtown Manhattan, and closing 50 senior centers.

The mayor says his updated budget assumes state aid will be cut by $1.3 billion, which is what was proposed in early state plans. He accuses the state of "starving" New York City. There is no state budget in place now -- it is more than one month late.