LIFO reform a Walcott priority
Carl Campanile | New York Post
New Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott vowed yesterday to crusade for reforms, such as overhauling the "last in, first out" law, which forces the city to lay off teachers by seniority rather than performance.
Walcott said curbing LIFO is necessary because the city plans to issue pink slips to thousands of teachers, and he and Mayor Bloomberg want to keep the most effective instructors in the classroom.
"We have budget issues. We have layoffs on the table," he said after reading the Langston Hughes poem "I Dream a World" to students at Bryant Park, his first official act as chancellor after his appointment was approved yesterday by state Education Commissioner David Steiner.
"We're looking at 6,100 jobs give or take."
Opposition in Albany has blocked City Hall's effort to inject merit into layoff decisions.
But Walcott said he's an "eternal optimist" and hopes to persuade union leaders and state lawmakers to give ground.
Walcott's whirlwind day included a visit to his alma mater, Francis Lewis HS in Queens, and hosting a town-hall meeting in Brooklyn last night.