Monday, October 20, 2014

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Parents Confront Schools Chancellor Over Budget Cuts

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Parents and advocates took their fight over school budget cuts straight to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein Tuesday.

Klein was met by a small crowd of protestors Tuesday as he left a meeting with students at P.S. 87. A number of classes had written letters to Klein, asking him to not to cut school budgets -- and parents said they're hoping he'll take the students' concerns to heart.

"Budget cuts are really unconscionable and I'm surprised that somebody like Joel Klein, who appears to care about education, seems to not understand that money is also a big part of education and support that," said parent Bill Gehris. "So I'm just disappointed in him."

"I wish that in any situation we could always increase spending, but I have to deal with the realities of the city," said Klein. "But I appreciate you being out here and I look forward to coming back next year to talk to the children about the experience they had next year."

Albany increased funding this year for city schools, with the bulk of that aid earmarked for improving struggling schools. Klein has said he wants to use a portion of that improvement money to help all city schools meet a projected budget gap.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has said he does not support that plan and will not reopen the budget to fulfill it.
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