I was once driving on a Sunday morning and heard NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein on NPR railing about state education cuts. How could they? It's awful! What about the children? Moments later, the conversation turned to city education cuts, and it was well, no one likes cuts, but what can you do. It was amazing. Any thinking person knows that cuts hit kids the same wherever they come from.
But the Daily News editorial board hasn't gotten the memo, I suppose. Mayor Bloomberg's latest doomsday budget cuts thousands of teachers, and it's entirely the fault of the state. They should cut pensions and health care to working people. Perish forbid they should raise taxes on the likes of Michael Bloomberg and his newspaper-publishing pals.
The state cuts are as deplorable as the News says they are. But the notion that Bloomberg plays no part in his own plan to cut 6400 teachers, after the preposterous but much-repeated contention he places "children first," simply defies belief. How could any objective writer suggest that the mayor has no say in his own budget?
Mayor Bloomberg decided not to cut cops, and he could decide not to cut teachers as well. He could start by cutting 5 million he's earmarked to recruit teachers in times of layoffs. And he could ask New Yorkers, particularly wealthy ones, to pitch in and support the children he claims to put first.
Frankly, if the mayor is so indispensable in these times that he needed to buy himself a third term against the stated will of voters, he should have a way better solution than I do. He should have a brilliant plan that will require the sacrifice of no one.
Otherwise, what's so special about this guy?