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City Council hearing: School aide layoffs

The City Council’s Education and Finance Committees will hold a joint oversight hearing Examining the Impact of Staff Layoffs in Schools. Below is information regarding the upcoming hearing:

The current fiscal crisis has resulted in several rounds of budget cuts to City agencies, including the Department of Education. As part of this year’s budget agreement, the City Council and the United Federation of Teachers successfully negotiated with Mayor Bloomberg to save thousands of teaching jobs. However, our schools still needed to absorb a $178 million or almost 2.5% budget cut and it was up to each school to determine how to make those adjustments. The result is that over 700 school aides, family workers, parent coordinators, and other non-teaching staff are slated to be laid off.

This hearing will focus primarily on the impact of these layoffs on our public schools and students.

We invite members of Community Education Councils, parents, students, educators, advocates, and all other stakeholders and interested members of the public to testify at this hearing. Testimony will be limited to 2-3 minutes per person to allow as many as possible to testify. Although the hearing starts at 10:00 am, the Administration (Department of Education), as well as other witnesses (such as elected officials) have been invited to testify and answer questions from Council Members at the outset, so we do not expect to hear from others until sometime after 11:30am. Please make sure you fill out a witness slip on the desk of the Sergeant-at-arms if you wish to testify. If you plan to bring written testimony, please bring at least 20 copies.