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Obama: Stimulus means NYC could avoid teacher layoffs

In his remarks before signing the $787 billion federal stimulus bill, President Obama today singled out New York City as a place where the bill’s effects are likely to be felt.

“In New York City alone, 14,000 teachers who were set to be let go may now be able to continue pursuing their critical mission,” Obama said. He mentioned only three other specific places where the stimulus will make an impact: Columbus, Ohio; North Dakota; and Colorado, where he was speaking.

Obama spoke in the conditional because it’s up to the state, which will disburse the stimulus funds, to help the city avoid layoffs. But city officials plan to push the state to roll back some of its proposed cuts. In a memo to the mayor today, his deputy in charge of operations wrote:

We are optimistic that by working with our partners at the State level, we can apply this funding to existing needs at the Department of Education so we can avoid the severe headcount reductions you mentioned as a possibility.

(Thanks to Liz Benjamin at the Daily News for pointing out Obama’s New York City reference.)

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