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In Hollywood, cheers and a 'last in, first out' link for PS 22 chorus

Here’s something to ease the return from vacation: Footage of the chorus from Staten Island’s PS 22 closing out last night’s Academy Awards with a spirited performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The 64 students wore blue and green PS 22 T-shirts for their trip down the red carpet.

This weekend, Daily News columnist Michael Daly held chorus director Gregg Breinberg up as a reason for getting rid of “last in, first out” layoff rules. Daly argued that if Breinberg were a new teacher, the policy would force him to leave the system.

In fact, it was a “last in, first out” policy that led Breinberg to PS 22 in the first place. Here’s what the acclaimed teacher told GothamSchools in December:

I started teaching music at PS 60, where I was for a year. It was a great year, I loved it, but then I got excessed. My principal really tried to keep me, but there’s no way around the system. It’s basically, the last person in was the first person out. I was the last one in and there were two teachers who returned from maternity leave, which forced me out of the building. My new school was PS 22 …

Breinberg also told GothamSchools he was flummoxed by the Department of Education’s fundraising regulations. But last week the group announced that it would begin accepting donations via the Fund for Public Schools’ alumni giving website.

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