New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today he has raised $1.5 million from private donors to resume January Regents testing statewide, exams that are critical to thousands of college-bound students.
The tests that help as many as 5,000 students in New York City alone to graduate early and to meet college requirements were cut beginning this year as the state addressed a multi-billion dollar deficit. Bloomberg said 80 percent of the students hurt by the decision were black or Hispanic and some were returning to school after dropping out.
“I knew we had to do something, or we would be letting our kids down,” Bloomberg said. “I’ve always believed that you can either complain about your problems or do something to fix them — in New York City, we choose the latter.”
New York City schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said the city will continue to work with the state Education Department, which creates and administers the tests, to find a long-term solution.
“These generous donations give these students the opportunity for an uninterrupted transition to a successful future,” Walcott said.
Bloomberg won’t identify the donors he and Walcott contacted. The six donors gave $250,000 each to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Fund for Public Schools.
The education department suspended the January Regents when cuts were made to address a series of budget gaps under Gov. David Paterson’s tenure.
There was no immediate comment from the education department.