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City analysts: Classroom instruction hit hardest by budget cuts

The Department of Education’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins in July is down 10 percent in the last year, and classroom instruction has taken the brunt of the cuts, according to a report released today by the city’s Independent Budget Office.

The report, analyzing Mayor Bloomberg’s preliminary budget for 2010, includes a concise summary of the dizzying sequence of school budget cuts since January 2008, when Mayor Bloomberg first announced that he was planning to cut the DOE’s budget. It also provides this graph, which shows that classroom instruction has taken the biggest hit:

The city’s schools desperately need a healthy allocation of federal stimulus funds to maintain basic services, the IBO report concludes. That’s not news: The mayor said in January, when he presented the preliminary budget, that federal funds would be necessary to prevent massive teacher layoffs. And Schools Chancellor Joel Klein told the City Council last week that some teacher layoffs are still on the table unless state lawmakers pass along more than $500 million in stimulus funds.

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