FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, CHANCELLOR KLEIN, UFT PRESIDENT WEINGARTEN, THE NEW YORK IMMIGRATION COALITION, ACORN AND OTHER PARENT AND STAKEHOLDER GROUPS ANNOUNCE RENEWED COMMITMENT TO WORK TOGETHER TO IMPROVE THE CITY'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Teachers Union Supports Department's Fair Student Funding Plan and English Language Learner Strategies
City Commits to Work with Teachers and other Stakeholders on Class Size, Parent Engagement, and Middle School Initiatives
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, and United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten today announced a renewed commitment to work together to strengthen and implement key reforms to bring greater accountability and equity to New York City's public schools. The Mayor was also joined by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Council Education Committee Chairman Robert Jackson, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition Chung-Wha Hong, NY ACORN Executive Director Bertha Lewis, and Irania Sanchez representing the Coalition for Economic Justice and Make the Road by Walking. In particular, the City and the Union announced agreement on a Fair Student Funding proposal that will correct historic inequities in school funding, while also ensuring continued stability for all schools. They also announced new collaboration on a range of other issues including teacher tenure, class size, parent engagement, and middle school improvement.
"I strongly believe in the need for mayoral control and a clear line of accountability running all the way up to the mayor," said Mayor Bloomberg. "But I also believe in bringing people together around a common goal. The Chancellor and I appreciate all the people who have come together today behind these initiatives. I think they will make a big difference for our schools and our students."
"After weeks of public discussion and debate, we have today a set of criteria that will strengthen our schools and provide a better educational experience for families and students. Working with the Mayor's office, teachers, advocates and the Council, we have put together a work plan to lower class size, support educators, protect English Language Learners and improve our middle schools, with the full engagement of parents and school communities," said Speaker Christine C. Quinn.
"Since the mayor's State of the City address we have voiced areas on which we agree and disagree. I am pleased we have reached agreement on some of the major instructional and funding issues that affect our 1.1 million students and the more than 100,000 educators who serve them - and on the mechanics to continue the dialogue," said United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. "The bottom line is how we help kids. Listening to parents and teachers is the vehicle to accomplishing that."
In his January 2007 State of the City speech, Mayor Bloomberg promised to correct decades of inequity in school funding by adopting Fair Student Funding, which will fund schools based on the number and needs of students. Since then, the Chancellor, his staff, and Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott consulted with almost 6,000 people at more than 100 meetings throughout the City in order to gain feedback and refine the proposal. Based on these conversations, as well as those with the Union over the past week, a series of refinements have been made. These adjustments include:
In addition, the Administration will invite the Union, as well as the New York Immigration Coalition, and the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, to become members of an advisory group that will analyze the impact of Fair Student Funding and recommend refinements over time. While the Administration and the Union agreed to work together to implement FSF, the UFT continues to believe that using "actual teacher salary" as a consideration in hiring decisions under the Open Market Transfer System is impermissible under the teachers' contract and has filed a grievance to that effect.
English Language Learners
Student Success Centers
Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker (212) 788-2958
David Cantor (Education)
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