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Alliance for Quality Education releases report

11/23/2011, 2:41 p.m.

Other examples of the impact of cuts include:

* Brunswick/ Brittonkill School District: Honors English and social studies classes have been cut and replaced with an honors seminar held every other day during a lunch period, which has resulted in students moving to other areas schools like Troy for better opportunities, Advanced Placement Physics was cut.

* Poughkeepsie: Reduced kindergarten program from full day to half day, eliminated Alternative Program for disruptive students, cut recess time because of layoffs to teachers' aides. * New York City: 74% of schools increased class sizes, 56% of the schools reduced Academic Intervention Services, 21% of schools reduced services to English Language Learners and 20% of schools lost their art and music classes

* Central Islip: Cut 85 teaching positions, which resulted in class sizes as large as 44 in some middle school class rooms and 34 in some elementary schools.

* Utica: Some kindergarten classrooms have grown to 28 students per teacher.

* Potsdam: School Newspaper has been cut, Drama cut, Music, Art and Greenhouse programs reduced drastically.

The distribution of the cuts, enacted under Governor Andrew Cuomo's first budget, run contrary a pledge made by the governor during his campaign to be "the great equalizer" by redistributing funds from wealthy districts to poor districts. The governor has repeatedly asserted that the cuts would not hurt students, but in fact the $1.3 billion more cuts forced 63% of districts to increase class sizes, 36% to make cuts to summer school, 22% to reduce art classes, 24% to reduce music classes, and 17% to reduce the number of honors or advanced placement courses that are essential to competitive college applications. Across the state, 11,000 teachers, librarians, guidance counselors and other school positions were eliminated this year. By contrast, in 2007 the state made a commitment to prioritize the neediest students as part of the statewide settlement of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) lawsuit by providing them with funding increases that were four-and-a-half times those in the wealthiest districts.