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Charter cap lifted, UFT returns to the budget fight

Now that we have a Race to the Top deal, the city’s teachers union is back to its regularly scheduled programing. The union launched a radio ad today lambasting the state legislature for threatening to cut education funding next year.

“I now hope that the entire legislature and the governor we can focus all of our energies on getting a budget that will have major education restorations,” said union president Michael Mulgrew in a phone interview today.

Both union and city officials are hoping that lawmakers will iron out a budget deal over the long weekend that will prevent them from having to lay off 4,400 teachers. Public school principals are expecting to have budgets next Tuesday and if the economic forecast does not change by then, layoff announcements could shortly follow.

The UFT’s ad, which will run throughout Memorial Day weekend, will air on radio stations WCBS, WINS, WBLS, WKTU, WSKQ and WPAT.

The full script of the ad is below the jump:

UFT — Pomp and Circumstance – 60 second radio – SFX: Pomp and Circumstance. ANNCR: Graduation. It’s a time of celebration….and hope. But this year, looming budget gaps threaten our children’s future. SFX: Music turns dark and sad. Some politicians in Albany and New York City want to cut more than $1.4 billion from our public schools. And that’ll mean overcrowded classrooms, an end to tutoring and after-school programs, and the loss of thousands of great teachers and school staff. Yes, times are tough. But our kids shouldn’t have to pay the price for a budget crisis they didn’t create. It’s up to our leaders to protect our children’s education by cutting government waste and asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share. SFX: Music turns hopeful. Our kids don’t get a second chance. They need good schools, good teachers and leaders who stand up for them. Go to protectingourkids.org. Join with parents, teachers and community members. Tell the legislature and City Hall to stop the budget cuts and save our public schools, now. Paid for by the United Federation of Teachers, Michael Mulgrew, President.