Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The New York Times

Santos & Hernandez notes: “New York’s $66 billion budget, which the City Council is set to approve on Tuesday, averted the laying off of thousands of teachers that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had said would be necessary. But the plan does not spare the schools from cuts. The schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, told principals on Monday that individual school budgets would decline by an average of 2.4 percent, forcing tough choices about what — or whom — they can do without. Parent coordinators at high schools could be let go, after-school programs could end and teaching positions could be purged, prompting schools to consolidate classes and eliminate elective courses. The city does not plan to replace an estimated 2,600 teachers who are expected to retire or resign this summer, so one result is inevitable: Class sizes will increase.”

“Gotham” columnist Michael Powell wonders: “The mayor plays a reasonable hand of political poker, but is the city the better for that this year? Was the threatened mayhem — the thousands of layoffs and firehouses closed — an attempt to reimagine the city in rough times, or just a sound-and-light show?”

Cara Buckley notes: “At this year’s meeting, held Monday evening at the Cooper Union’s Great Hall, the Rent Guidelines Board raised the maximum increases on rent-stabilized apartments to 3.75 percent for one-year leases and 7.25 percent for two-year leases. The increases go into effect in October.”

Michael Grybaum reports: “…The city is planning a new system of street signage intended to help pedestrians get from here to there with as little confusion as possible.”

Sam Dolnick looks at the aftermath of the gay marriage vote: “The news was celebrated over the weekend by gay immigrants just as it was by other gay groups. On Monday, after the dancing had slowed, many immigrants outside the gay community said that the victory carried a special resonance for them, as well, for they understood discrimination better than most. Their relationship with gay advocacy groups is complex, even as some see similarities in their struggles. And because it is a state law and not a federal one, some of the benefits being sought, like citizenship for same-sex spouses, will not be forthcoming, and that has somewhat muted their response.”

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