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Twain on verge of teacher layoffs - Questions swirl around gifted & talented

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Parents are taking action to protect I.S. 239, the Mark Twain School for the Gifted and Talented.

They held a meeting last week to discuss how the school will cope with the $287,512 budget cut Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to impose in September.

City Councilmember Domenic Recchia, who was present at the meeting, said the school will struggle because of the budget cuts.

“They’re making plans to lay off teachers,” he told this paper.

Questions remain about the future of Mark Twain’s after-school programs since those programs seem to be the first to go for many schools dealing with budget cuts.

As a result of the budget cuts imposed earlier this year, Mark Twain Principal Carol Moore ended the school’s after-school programs after Passover rather than keeping them running through June.

At an anti-budget cuts rally earlier this month, Moore told parents that the school has lost $953,989 because of funding cuts.

“That does not include the $300,000 state magnet” funding that the school may also eventually lose, she explained.

She added, “I do not believe it is fair to our children.”

The City Council is trying to reverse the proposed funding cuts to public schools as it negotiates a city budget for the upcoming fiscal year with Bloomberg.

“We’re trying to find a way to resolve the cut and get the money back,” Recchia said.

This month, Recchia and Council members Bill de Blasio (D-Park Slope) and Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge) said they won’t approve the city’s budget unless full funding is restored for public schools.

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