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PR- 347-05
September 8, 2005


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Randi Weingarten, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) President Jill Levy, and District Council 37 (DC 37) Executive Director Lillian Roberts today announced that the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and these three unions are partnering to launch a Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund in the City’s public schools.  The fundraising effort will continue for 12 weeks, until December 1, 2005.  Funds collected in the schools during the drive will be sent to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and given to the American Red Cross.

“I am pleased that students, teachers and principals will be joining the City’s effort to provide aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Over the last week, we have provided emergency service equipment and personnel to assist in the Gulf Coast region including over approximately 700 Police Officers, Firefighters, Correction Officers and staff from the Office of Emergency Management.  I want to thank the UFT, CSA and DC 37 for their dedication to this important relief effort.  The residents in the Gulf Coast region were there for New York City in the days that followed the tragedy of September 11th, and we will be there for them in their time of need.”

“As we begin a new school year, New York City’s public school students, teachers, principals, and staff are joining millions of people across our nation to assist those who have been devastated by this disaster,” Chancellor Klein said.  “We are pleased to work together with the UFT, CSA, and DC 37 to encourage our schools to help the communities affected by Hurricane Katrina.  We will continue to monitor the situation and look for other meaningful opportunities for our public schools to contribute to the relief efforts.”

“We have already begun opening our UFT Disaster Fund to help the children and educators affected by this devastating disaster,” said President Weingarten, who noted that the UFT’s parent organization, the American Federation of Teachers, represents educators in New Orleans.  “As with 9/11 and the Asian tsunami, the UFT and the entire school community must do the utmost to help.”

“New Yorkers received an overwhelming outpouring of generosity from around the country in our time of need,” said President Levy.  “This is one way we can reciprocate now that hundreds of thousands are trying to rebuild their lives. We hope New Yorkers will help, the same way that CSA school leaders have begun donating to the AFSA/PANOPSI Katrina Relief Fund aimed at helping New Orleans Principals and Assistant Principals recover from this disaster.”

“Our hearts go out to those whose jobs and homes and possessions have been taken away by this terrible and tragic disaster,” said Executive Director Roberts.  “We all want to help, and we want our young to learn, at home and in school, that we have to be our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers.  We fully support the efforts being taken by the DOE in connection with the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.  Our members and DC 37 itself are contributing to the relief fund set up by our national union, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.”

“Once again, New Yorkers are displaying their generosity and compassion through their support of the massive American Red Cross relief efforts throughout the South,” said Theresa A. Bischoff, CEO of the American Red Cross in Greater New York. “We would like to thank Chancellor Joel Klein and all the employees and unions associated with the New York City Department of Education for organizing this fund drive. And of course, a special thanks to the school children and their families from across New York City who are helping others in this time of need.”

As part of the fundraising effort, the DOE has waived the Chancellor’s Regulation setting limits on the number of school fundraisers.  Each and every New York City public school is invited to take part in this charitable campaign on a voluntary basis.  Donations may be provided in cash or checks made out to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, City Hall, New York, NY 10007, and checks should note that the donation is for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

The DOE also announced today that New York City public schools are welcoming students and families arriving from the affected area.  Although many of these students arrive without documentation, the Department is using all available resources to ensure that students are registered in appropriate grade levels and schools near their residence or temporary housing.

Displaced families with elementary and middle school students seeking enrollment in New York City public schools should register at the zoned school closest to their place of residence.  High school students should register at the New Student High School Registration Centers, which are open between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. until September 30th (the Center at 283 Adams Street in Brooklyn is open Tuesday-Thursday until 8 p.m.).  Families may call 311 for information.


Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958


Jerry Russo   (Department of Education)
(212) 374-5141

Michael Mendel (UFT)   (212) 598-7713

Richard Relkin (CSA)   (718) 852-3000 Ext 211

Donna Silberberg (DC 37)   (212) 815-1535

Larry Geiger (American Red Cross)   (212) 875-2132

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