After CBS 2 noticed an interesting quote Michael Bloomberg gave regarding education this week (in a hypothetical world, if he could—and he can't—he "would cut the number of teachers in half, but you would double the compensation of them, and you would weed out all the bad ones") the Mayor's office has been working hard to clarify just what he meant. Luckily, today at the announcement of a new Facebook office, Hizzoner got the chance and turned the tables, blaming the media, Capital reports. "Nothing I've said in Boston I haven't said for the last ten years," Bloomberg said. "I don't know why you have't paid attention."
"I never said fire half of them," he elaborated. "I said, if you have to spend your money, spend—I'd rather have better teachers, if I'd have to make the choice, I would have better teachers, better paid than a lot of other things that people would like to have to improve education."
"If you were going to start from scratch, you'd want to go and get the best teachers and you have to pay them more to get them which means you're going to have fewer teachers. Nobody is talking about laying off anybody."
Bloomberg said he helped raise salaries for teachers at a faster rate than for members of other public unions, underscoring what he said was his appreciation for the work they do.
"The teachers union should be very happy," he said. "Every other union got a one-third raise for their people, 33 percent over the last 10 years; the teachers got a 105 percent, 110 percent raise over the last 10 years. If that doesn't show how much we care about teachers, I don't know what does."
After Bloomberg's comments at MIT got widespread coverage today a number of politicians, including presumed mayoral candidates Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, spoke out firmly against the mayor. "Advocating we slash teachers shows an astonishing lack of understanding of what our public school students need to succeed," Stringer tweeted.
So, in case we aren't all perfectly clear that Mike Bloomberg is not planning on axing half the teachers in the city, here's a video of Bloomberg explaining himself: