Moving on won't be as easy as ABC for Bronx students

In his State of the City address on Thursday, Mayor Bloomberg announced that education will be a main focus for 2004.

In September, 30,000 classroom seats will become available, nearly one-third of them came from getting rid of administrative offices. The seats, equivalent to roughly 13 new schools, will save the city $500 million.

Mayor Bloomberg also announced plans to end the social promotion of third-grade students. It has been common to automatically pass students that performed poorly. At the end of the school year, one in five third graders could be forced to repeat the grade under the new initiative. The decision will be based on test performance.

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) is in favor of the plan and has offered to meet with Chancellor Joel Klein to develop a program that will help students. The UFT says students need to have a small class size, highly qualified teachers, specialized curriculum and support services.

While the UFT favors the new initiative some parents oppose the new plan. Instead of having the kids repeat the grade, some parents would like to see tutors or special after school programs to help with their education.The new program to prevent social promotion while take effect in June.

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