Mayor Bill de Blasio visited PS 69 Q in Jackson Heights this afternoon, promoting the changes to city schools incorporated in his proposed budget and proposed UFT contract.
Citywide Debriefing Team:
During the Q&A portion of the press conference, Jill Colvin of The New York Observer asked the mayor for his reaction, and whether he approved, to a NY Times report that the NYPD has a “Citywide Debriefing Team [that] has combed the city’s jails for immigrants — predominantly Muslims — who might be persuaded to become police informants.” Here’s how the mayor responded:
Full Press Q&A:
On topic question topics included the mayor’s proposed $20 million allocation for arts programs and whether this is all new spending, whether it’s typical for elementary schools to have arts teachers, the mayor’s proposed $4.4 billion capital spending to address classroom overcrowding, how many new classroom seats that spending would produce and where they would be located, whether all trailers used by schools would be eliminated, the definition of “problematic behavior” used in dealing with the Absent Teacher Reserve, what the state funding to be used for middle school after school programs would have otherwise been used for and DoE support for schools that will participate in the program providing increased school autonomy. Mayor de Blasio interrupted the on topic portion of the press conference to introduce “parent activist” Laverne Maison (sp?). We have omitted that portion of the Q&A, presenting only the portion with actual questions and answers.
Off topic question topics included Vision Zero, the NYPD’s plan to stop seizing condoms from sex workers, the NYPD’s “Citywide Debriefing Team”, the Working Families Party and whether it will nominate Andrew Cuomo as its candidate for governor, the 9/11 Museum and the total spending through 2020 for the proposed UFT contract.