Mayor Bloomberg presented his budget yesterday and in it it eliminated 6,100 teachers for the next school year. The only real change was that the Administration admitted there would be 2,000 teachers leaving due to attrition, not the 1,500 as was in the previous budget proposal. It is very obvious to all that he is targeting teachers in this budget as a political statement. By contrast, when he was asked if there will be any layoffs at the DOE's already bloated Central Administration? The Mayor responded, that he does not anticipate laying off anybody from Tweed.
Here is a Mayor that preached "Accountability" and who does he blame for his budget to layoff teachers? The Federal & State governments, the Teachers union, and of course, the economy. Nowhere does the "Accountability" Mayor takes blame for his budget decisions. An example of this is the 3.2 billion dollar surplus that he quietly tucked away into the 2013 budget (even the New York Post caught on to this three-card Monte game, Mayoral style) rather than using the $276 million he would need to avert any teacher layoffs. This is simply a political statement by the Mayor to embarrass the State and to demonize teachers and will, in the long run, fail as the politicians (except for the Republican Senate) see that the lame duck Mayor is no longer popular with the people and his legacy as the "Education Mayor" as a bad joke. What is more interesting is that the teacher layoffs account for 80% of the total layoffs in Bloomberg's Budget of City Workers and to show how political it is, he said any additional money he gets from the State may go to the Police or Fire Department not to reduce teacher layoffs. His exact words were:
“Any moneys that Albany manages to get back to us…don’t automatically go to education,” Bloomberg said today.“There are a lot of first priorities. There are a lot of agencies that are very important to the city. You may decide that you need one more policeman or one more fireman… there are plenty of things in addition to education,” he said.
Of course the Mayor's poodle, Chancellor Dennis Walcott supports the Mayor and brought up LIFO yet again. He said the following:
"the issue for me is making sure we have an effective teacher in front of the classroom." The administration is pursuing legislative changes in Albany that would allow the city to lay off teachers based on merit, instead of seniority as the law currently requires.
What the Bloomberg budget does is "hurt the children". Especially the elementary schools where 50% of the teacher layoffs are projected. However, the Mayor has made it clear in his budget proposal that he does not care about the children and how his draconian cuts will affect them. He only cares about proving a point and use his Mayoral power to make it happen. To him it does not matter that the schools who struggle in poor neighborhoods will be disproportionately affected. To the Mayor it is not about what is right, it is about his power to do as he pleases. I can only hope that the New York City Council sees through what Bloomberg is doing and take the $276 million out of his 3.2 billion dollar surplus and stop this travesty that furthers the Mayor's ambitions which result in "hurting the children".
The Bloomberg budget not only is a disgrace but goes out of his way to "hurt the children" in his political attack on teachers and their union. "Children Last" does not even apply here, it is "children do not count" in the Bloomberg budget. I know what our union's position is
Michael Mulgrew, the union president, described the mayor’s announcement on Friday as the “smoke and mirrors” of an administration trying to save face after threatening layoffs for months. “The teachers have been hearing this since January,” Mr. Mulgrew said.
Notice those fifth columnists at Education 4 Excellence had nothing to say about the Bloomberg Budget that "hurts the children". I wonder why?