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Dressed in black, parents and teachers protest budget cuts

Calling their protest “Fight Back Friday,” teachers and parents at a handful of schools wore all black today in opposition to Mayor Bloomberg’s threatened teacher layoffs and budget cuts.

The protest was organized by members of the Grassroots Education Movement and the New York Collective of Radical Educators — two teacher groups that have opposed Bloomberg’s layoff plans and his push remove seniority as a factor in layoffs. A smaller group of parents and teachers gathered on the steps of the Department of Education’s headquarters this afternoon to describe how layoffs and budget cuts would affect their schools.

“It was kind of a play on [Chancellor] Cathie Black and kind of a play on wearing black,” said Prospect Heights High School teacher Rosemarie Frascella, of her decision to wear a sticker that read, “Ask me about Black.”

“At my school what most people are concerned about is budget cuts, layoffs — according to the list my school could lose two teachers — and especially anger around testing,” Frascella said.

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