Friday, September 04, 2009

When Is a New School Not a New School?

That's the kind of riddle you just might have to crawl under your bed to figure out. But not in Mayor Bloomberg's New York. According to Juan Gonzalez, Mayor Bloomberg creates new schools, but doesn't create new schools. I mean, sure, there he is, photographed in front of a shiny new building. But does that mean they're all like that?

Apparently not--why bother with a new building when you can just rent one for 191 million dollars? After all, that puts public money in the hands of someone who can really use it--a private entity that owns a building worth 191 million dollars. Why squander money like that on a building the city could actually own? Better to give it back and pay another 191 million dollars later. And apparently, the administration has managed to acquire another rented building for the bargain-basement price of 40 billion, plus 11 more in renovations.

Of course, other ways to create new schools is to just take old ones that have been offline, and open them up again. Or just take schools that have been open and call them new. In the new New York, it's all about innovation.

And the best part is you can claim to have created a record number of seats, even though you clearly have not. When you're Mayor-for-life, truth is whatever you say it is.
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