Schools Chancellor To Councilman: 'So You Are Calling Me A Liar'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott met with some angry and hostile comments Tuesday, as he testified at a budget hearing before the City Council Finance and Education committees.

As 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reported, Walcott was upbeat when he came to the budget hearing, telling how the Bloomberg administration had turned an archaic school system into a 21st-century model for the rest of the nation.

But upbeat turned to beat-up, as councilmembers raked Walcott over the coals.

“When you have 10 years and over $150 billion, and you go from 10 percent to 13 percent of black and Latino students – which means that those youngsters that were up here before, 87 percent of them will not be prepared for college under your system – that is a dismal failure of mayoral control,” said Councilman Charles Barron (D-45th.)

Councilmembers also took issue with Walcott’s choice to change the way school bus contracts are handled – an issue that led to a lengthy school bus drivers’ strike this past winter.

On that subject, Walcott engaged in a particularly heated exchange with Education Committee Chairman Robert Jackson (D-7th).

“We have saved the city $100 million over five years,” Walcott said.

“You have not proven that, chancellor, that you have saved the city…” Jackson said.

“Well, once the contracts are registered…” Walcott said.

“Because it’s registered? You and I know it doesn’t mean that you saved anything, chancellor,” Jackson said.

“So you are calling me a liar,” Walcott said.

“No, chancellor,” Jackson said.

“No, therefore, you are calling me a liar,” Walcott said.

The two repeatedly talked over each other in their exchange.

The hearing went on in much the same fashion for three hours.

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