Bloomberg and the Teacher Layoffs

To hear Bloomberg explain it, teacher layoffs are a necessity… and a prerogative.

One day after putting out a map detailing where more than 4,000 teacher layoffs would fall in the five boroughs, Bloomberg told reporters in Brooklyn what exactly he needs in order to keep those educators employed.

“You’d have to get roughly a billion dollars,” Bloomberg said. “Six hundred million dollars to close the budget before we start thinking about it. And then you’d have to sit there and say do you want more cops or more teachers? We’re at the situation where things are either or.”

Bloomberg added, “If someone were to come through with a billion dollars, that would give us the money to close the deficit and to keep those teachers, if that was a decision we wanted to make.”

Bloomberg was at Metrotech, in Brooklyn, to announce the consolidation of city computer services he said would save the New Yorkers millions of dollars. The commissioner for information technology, Carole Post, said the consolidation will not result in staff reductions.

As for teachers, the mayor said thousands are still expected to be laid off.

To underscore his point that all this layoffs talk isn’t, as some have suggested, just a scare tactic to jolt lawmakers into rewriting teacher seniority rules, Bloomberg said the city wil have to “send out layoff notices…soon.”

As he walked away from the podium, CBS’ Marcia Kramer asked Bloomberg how soon.

“I have no idea,” he told her.