Mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce on Thursday that he plans to cut at least 4,700 teachers in order to balance the budget. A total of 6,166 positions will be eliminated — those that are not eliminated by layoffs will be lost through attrition. The cuts represent an 8 percent decrease in teaching staff, the largest teacher layoff since the seventies.
The 8 percent cut is better than Bloomberg’s initial prediction of 21,000 layoffs. Why so many layoffs? The city needs to make up for a $2.1 billion reduction in state aid.
“We face very difficult decisions on how to balance the budget without harming the progress we have made,” explained Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson. But he and Bloomberg both stressed that merit would be a factor in determining which teachers lose their jobs. “The only thing worse than laying off teachers would be laying off the wrong teachers.”
This likely won’t sit well with parents, teachers, and students who have already seen more than twenty schools ordered closed this year.