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On eve of school year, parents take aim at school aide layoffs

The city should rethink the money used on outside consultants to save the jobs of the school aides, health workers, and parent coordinators who help schools function from the inside.

That was the message delivered by members of DC-37, parents, teachers, activists, and elected officials during a protest on the steps of Tweed Courthouse today against the impending layoffs of nearly 800 school workers, most of them DC-37 members. The cuts – announced Aug. 15 – are slated to take effect in October.

Noah Gotbaum, who is on the District 3 Community Education Council and a parent of three public school children, said the loss of parent coordinators is a significant setback. “One of the only things Bloomberg did right is creating the position of parent coordinator, and now he’s kicking them off,” he said.

Other parents said they were most concerned about how the layoffs would affect their children. “What about the safety of our children in the lunchroom? In the courtyard? In the hallways? On the buses?” asked Muba Yarofulani, a parent activist who has a chld and the parent of an eighth grader. “Safety is very important and the less school aides we have, the less schools are safe for our children.”

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