michael bloomberg

michael bloomberg

Bloomberg’s Teacher Layoffs Reduced, but Still Grim

teacher union protest

Protesters outside Brooklyn Borough Hall, May 5th

New York City still stands to lose thousands of teachers due to city budget cuts, but the number has been somewhat reduced since the February figure. The mayor originally proposed to eliminate 6,100 teaching jobs through layoffs. Yesterday, it was announced that now 4,278 teachers will be laid off, but the city hopes to reduce the total number of teachers by another 1,500 through attrition.

Reducing the number of teachers, along with other city employees, is part of an effort to reduce the city budget by an additional $400 million. The city is facing a multibillion-dollar deficit for the fiscal year starting on July 1st, despite drawing heavily from city reserves. “Even that will not be enough to avoid layoffs of some city employees, including teachers,” said Bloomberg during an online news conference.

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NYC Uses Celebrities to Urge Kids Not to Cut Class

Wake UP logoNew York City high school students with high absenteeism will soon be receiving early-morning phone calls featuring celebrities. Magic Johnson, Trey Songz, and Jose Reyes are among the notable people to record messages encouraging students to go to school. The program is called WakeUp! and will be going out to 6,500 students this week.

“Through WakeUp! NYC we’re putting on a full-court press, using mass media and digital media to drive home the point that every student should be in school every day,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “It’s the next step in our efforts to cut absenteeism and put more students on the road to success, in school and in life.” The mayor added that they hope to eventually reach 250,000 students with chronic absenteeism.

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Hybrid High School / Community College Opening in Brooklyn

Students attending Brooklyn’s new City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (opening Fall 2009) will graduate with both a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree. It’s a progressive approach to high school education that New York City schools chancellor Joel I. Klein says is “long overdue.” mayor bloomberg and joel klein

The school is offering a five-year secondary education with its curriculum based on career and technical education with advanced courses like computer systems and architectural technology being taught at the New York City College of Technology.

City Polytechnic students will be able to start taking college-level classes during their third year, followed by attending classes in person at the College of Technology. This approach is the first of its kind, allowing students to take professional studies like construction management and IT, and will no doubt promote higher graduation rates, a simpler assimilation to college and a higher rate of college attendance and graduation.

Learn more at New York Times.


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