As elementary and middle school students prepare to take their standardized tests, Mayor Bloomberg and his new schools chancellor announced some extra help.
Beginning next month, $10 million will be distributed to 532 schools for additional in-class and after school tutoring.
The tutoring is expected to focus some extra help on the more than two thirds of students in those 532 schools who are performing below grade level in grades 4-8.
Schools will receive between $6,000 and 65,000.
The plan to address the problems of overcrowding and class sizes comes on the heels of Chancellor Cathie Black's "joke" that "some birth control" could alleviate those concerns.
Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement and then turned the podium over to Cathie Black, saying "Now let me ask Chancellor Black for her comments."
Black, a newcomer to the NYC education world, read a prepared statement that warned New Yorkers not to expect a lot more money to be thrown at the problems facing NYC schools.
"We wanna be clear, though, that more money is not the answer to all our problems. But we recognize some schools need extra help right now," Black said. "I've already begun looking at our budget and spending to see where we can better use our dollars."
When the inevitable question surfaced about Black's off-color birth control comment, Mayor Bloomberg jumped to Black's defense.
"Let me say it for her," he snapped. Bloomberg said in the private sector, "People take things out of context and a little too seriously."
Teachers union president Michael Mulgrew said some jokes "just aren't funny."