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State approves Klein for city school leader

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The state Education Department approved businessman and lawyer Joel Klein as the new city’s schools chancellor last week, just a few days after Mayor Michael Bloomberg submitted his choice to Education Commissioner Richard Mills.

Because Klein lacks a background as an educator, his appointment to schools chancellor required a waiver from Mills. Chancellors are required by law to have the same credentials as school superintendents.

Former Schools Chancellor Harold Levy, also a non-educator, received a waiver from Mills before taking over the post.

In other educational news, the nonprofit Campaign for Fiscal Equity filed a notice of appeal last month in the state Court of Appeals.

The group has been fighting in the courts to force the state to revise its educational funding formulas. Under the current system, the CFE said, big cities across the state, including New York, have more students than their suburban and rural counterparts but less financial help from state government for educational funding.

Meanwhile, another nonprofit — The After-School Corporation — announced this week that it was offering a $500,000 grant from the MetLife Foundation to support 10 after-school programs.

Schools in seven regions will be able to apply for the grant money. Regions include Queens and cities in Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Florida and part of upstate.

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