de Blasio Press Q&A: The Middle School Edition

This afternoon Mayor Bill de Blasio held a bifurcated press conference.

In the first portion the mayor lauded, and gave commendations to, two police officers for their actions in saving the life of a 15 month old child.  When police officers Michael Konatsotis and David Roussine responded to a call while on patrol Saturday on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, they encountered parents with an unresponsive toddler.  Konatsotis, a former EMT, resuscitated the child as Roussine rushed them and the child’s parents to a nearby hospital.

In the second portion of the press conference de Blasio discussed the middle school after school program portion of his pre-K/middle school after school program initiative.  The pre-K portion has received the overwhelming share of public and media attention.

Questions during the Q&A portion of the press conference included his plans during his scheduled visit to Albany on March 4th, why he expects to convince legislators who he has not convinced, whether he’s concerned that the middle school program will be pushed aside if there is a pre-K funding mechanism other than his proposed tax, where the money to fund the middle school program will come from, how he counters the argument that his tax proposal is unfair to cities that do not have a high earner tax base, how he will measure the success of the program absent additional standardized testing, whether he expects to meet with Governor Cuomo or Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos during his March 4th trip, what he would say to a parent whose child planned on attending one of the charter schools that his administration refused to allow, whether he doubts Governor Cuomo’s commitment or ability to deliver on the funding the governor has promised, what are the major hurdles in trying to convince the state senate to approve his tax proposal, whether there’s an absolute deadline for getting his tax proposal approved, whether he can promise parents pre-K spots should Governor Cuomo’s proposal gointo effect, and why he has not met with Congressman Michael Grimm since taking office.