Mayor Bloomberg cost school kids hundreds of millions of dollars because he played hooky when he should have been at the bargaining table with teachers, claims long-shot City Hall candidate Sal Albanese, who says he would have made sure to bring home the bacon.
Albanese, a former teacher who taught health at the John Jay High School in Park Slope, said he would have hammered out a deal with the union by actually attending the negotiations instead of just bad-mouthing teachers — a tactic he claims has been Mayor Bloomberg’s modus operandi for years.
“It never would have gone this far,” said Albanese, who once represented Bay Ridge in the city council. “After years of demonizing teachers and ignoring parents, the administration has proven itself unwilling and unable to lead meaningful negotiations.”
The outrage came after the city and the teachers’ union failed to reach a deal on a new procedure for evaluating 75,000 public school teachers by a deadline last Thursday night, potentially costing the city $250 million in state aid and $200 million in federal aid.
Albanese spokesman Todd Brogan said Bloomberg’s recent remarks that the United Federation of Teachers’ requests were “a joke,” while comparing the union to the National Rifle Association, were counterproductive because moms and dads generally sympathized with the educators.
“Most of the parents we talk to know their kids teachers, and know that they aren’t raiding the public coffers the way the mayor tries to portray them,” he said.
Albanese said his school to-do list would focus on early childhood education and more community involvement.
Bloomberg’s office refused to respond to Albanese’s criticisms, but claimed hizzoner’s conduct was above reproach.
“The mayor has been very respectful,” said spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua.