Tuesday, March 14, 2017

De Blasio Makes a Good Call

I don't know about you, but I just made breakfast and I'm sitting in my cozy living room drinking coffee. I'm pretty happy for 1.1 million schoolchildren and over 100,000 DOE employees who are not going in today. I heard almost immediately yesterday when de Blasio made his call to close the schools, and I ran around the halls and offices telling people. I watched kids and teachers literally jump for joy.

This is a far cry from the Klein era, when I'd be up and blogging at 4 AM wondering whether or not the schools would be open. I'd see my car snowed in and the guy on channel 2 would be shaking his head that the city had yet to make the call. It would be maybe 5 AM when they determined that yes, it was a terrible snowstorm and they were closing.

I took my dog out over an hour ago. He hates this weather and I knew it was only gonna get worse, so I dragged him out of his little bed and pulled him reluctantly outside. He still hasn't spoken to me, but I expect he'll get over it. Hopefully later my wife or kid will take him out and he'll be thankful I did so before things got so bad.

I absolutely recall days as bad as this or worse when I went in. The only concession I made was not dressing as I usually do. I figured if they made me shovel my way in and out of work that I'd dress the part. I'm very grateful, this morning, to not be in my car and listening to Mayor de Blasio announce that everyone should stay home. Instead, he actually made it possible for all of us to do so and is putting his money where his mouth is.

I understand the thought that this inconveniences parents who do have to go to work. I understand that this may cause some of them to stay home, and that there are two sides to that coin. But here in Nassau County, they've always closed the schools on days like these. People like me often had to go to work when that happened. And despite all those school closures, our island has not, in fact, broken away and floated into the Atlantic. I expect New York City will survive this day as well.

Bill de Blasio set a precedent last month when he made an early call to close the schools, a precedent he followed yesterday. He gave parents and teachers adequate notice. He didn't make them sit by the radio. He didn't make thousands of teachers get up, shovel themselves out, set out to work and turn around. That's happened to me at my chronically overcrowded school, which I've had to to report in as early as 7 AM. Now, at least, parents who need to make preparations won't need to make a mad rush at the last possible minute.

Could this be ushering in a new era of treating snow days in a manner that is not insane? We can only hope. Now if he'd just unload the Bloomberg-era DOE lunatics.
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