The already tenuous relationship between Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg likely took another hit this afternoon when the governor suggested the mayor was dealing in “propaganda” by warning of teacher layoffs.
“Well, in this budget, there were reductions to school districts and they may have to lay off teachers. Now ,that is a premise that you are assuming, because you’re responding to the -- what I believe is propaganda during the budget debate,” Cuomo said, chiding a reporter who asked a question about changing the state’s "last in, first out" law governing teacher layoffs.
Bloomberg, of course, has warned that state budget cuts could lead to more than 4,600 layoffs and has been fiercely lobbying Cuomo and the Legislature to change the LIFO law.
Cuomo, at a Red Room press conference, wasn’t buying into the talk of layoffs. He fiercely maintained only 19% of the school districts in the state received a funding cut and, of those, the average reduction – when computed with their local taxes – was about 1%.
“I don’t believe any school district that is well-managed is going to need to lay off teachers to deal with a 1% cut,” Cuomo said.
When Cuomo was asked if Bloomberg was dispensing propaganda and if he felt any of the 4,600 layoffs would be necessary, Cuomo responded: “We’ll see what happens, finally.”
“I know there is a theory that says the city has reserve funds as many school districts have reserve funds,” Cuomo said. “I’m advocating that the districts use their reserve funds now.”
Cuomo added “Newsflash: It’s raining. Double Newsflash: It's pouring.”
Afterwards a Cuomo spokesman said Cuomo wasn't referring to Bloomberg specifically in this rant, but of course he was.
Quite directly, actually.
Can Bloomberg get away with layoffs when a much more popular governor is saying he has the rainy day funds to avoid layoffs?