New Board Reappoints Klein as Schools Chancellor

Seven-member Board of Education meets for nine minutes

The city's hastily appointed seven-member Board of Education voted today to reappoint Schools Chancellor Joel Klein with full authority to oversee the school system.

City officials reinstated  the Board of Education on Wednesday after the state Senate failed to act on a bill to renew Mayor Michael Bloomberg's control of the schools. The bill expired at midnight.

Bloomberg said at a news conference today the new board and his administration will do their best to keep city schoolchildren "from becoming victims of the Albany train wreck.," adding that "it will serve until Albany rectifies its inaction and reauthorizes mayoral control."
The board -- making its first return since 2002 -- voted 7-0 to reappoint Klein during a nine-minute meeting. It also voted 6-0, with one abstention, to urge the state Senate to act on the mayoral control bill. As a result, immediate changes in the 1.1 million-pupil system -- the nation's largest -- seemed unlikely.

The board then adjourned until Sept. 10.

This morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed two of his deputy mayors -- First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris and Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall appointed a third, Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis Walcott.

The Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island borough presidents also chose appointees who support Bloomberg. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.'s appointee, Dolores Fernandez, the former president of Hostos Community College, does not.

Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, a parent advocacy group, said she was disappointed that four of the borough presidents chose appointees who will rubber-stamp Bloomberg's policies.

"They are clearly not listening to parents and their constituents who have been protesting for years that this man has nothing but contempt for parents and no regard for their views, and no intention of giving them any voice in the education of their children," Haimson said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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