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Shulman backs Giuliani’s plan for Saturday classes

When it came to budget requests and Queens’ public school students, Borough President Claire Shulman had one important plea last week: “They must have a desk and a seat they can call their own.”

In submitting the borough’s annual financial requests for the 2002 fiscal year to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Shulman touched on the recurring theme in the borough’s schools: overcrowding.

According to the Queens Borough Board’s Expense Budget Priorities for 2002, the borough will need about 22,000 extra classroom seats in 2005.

While acknowledging that the 2002 budget provides $359 million for the construction of 11 new schools in Queens next year, Shulman’s education requests echoed Giuliani’s education plans.

The borough board, which Shulman heads, backed the mayor’s plans for intensive Saturday classes in science and English, construction of classroom libraries throughout the public school system and increased funding for more general initiatives such as higher salaries for certified teachers.

Shulman said in her budget report that Queens students “must meet the high learning standards, be taught by certified teachers, have the proper resources including books and modern facilities and most of all, they must have a desk and a seat they can call their own.”

In addition to funding for the borough’s public schools, Queens’ public colleges joined in the annual budget request process.

York College in Jamaica had the largest budget request for 2002 at $408,000. That figure includes $145,000 for instructional services to help working adult students with academic support. York was also seeking $150,000 to boost the college’s theater and artistic productions.

Queens College in Flushing put in several budget requests for next year totaling $290,000, including about $71,000 for the Colden Center for Performing Arts, $54,300 for the Louis Armstrong House and Archives, and $50,000 for the school’s Asian-American Center Translation program.

Bayside’s Queensborough Community College was looking for $225,000 from the city for two major initiatives, including $125,00 for the school’s Holocaust Resource Center and Archives and $100,000 for the college’s Art Gallery.

The City University of New York Law School, in Flushing, requested $193,000, which includes $113,000 for the schools’ law clinic.

LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City requested about $120,000 for items ranging from upgrading the school’s website to conducting a survey of western Queens to determine cultural and social changes in the area.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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