Schools Chancellor Farina says it’s an ‘absolutely beautiful day’ as she defends decision to keep schools open

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — With many parents crying foul, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina are defending their decision to keep New York City public school open, and the schools’ chief took serious heat for calling it “a beautiful day.”

“I look at this from a number of different perspectives including that of a public school parent,” de Blasio said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “Our job is to make a decision that’s always tough.”


Farina had a rather optimistic view on the Noreaster, saying, “It’s absolutely a beautiful day outside right now.” ¬†Despite the “beautiful day,” New York City public school attendance was less than half of the normal — 44.65%, down from the usual 90%.

RELATED: NYC schools staying open during snowstorm spawns hilarious social media reaction

However, many on social media didn’t agree with her take on the storm. ¬†One Staten Island freshman even created the Facebook page “Close NYC Schools During Snow Emergencies” which now has 23,235 likes.

The chancellor later walked back on the statement, with de Blasio adding that she didn’t mean it was “sunny Florida.”

De Blasio said that since 1978, NYC schools have only closed 11 times. The mayor stressed that many parents rely on schools to be there for their children and for a hot meal.

“It’s a decision that’s not made lightly,” he said.


  • Mary O'Dwyer

    A State of Emergency has been declared. The constant message we hear on the media is "If you don't have to go out, stay home". We have been warned repeatedly about " dangerous" and "hazardous" conditions. So what happens? The New York public schools are open! Kids are expected to venture out, regardless of the proclaimed dangers and hazards! And to add insult to injury, the mayor explains his decision as having been influenced by the concern that a lot of kids won't get a hot meal if the schools are closed! New York parents should be highly insulted by this statement! They can't keep their kids adequately fed for one day? Furthermore, his view appears to be that New York parents consider a hot meal more important than their children's safety. In the view from my window, I saw the regular school buses stop at the corner where they pick up kids each morning: there was NOBODY waiting there and all that happened was that these buses appeared to be getting in the way of the plows that were trying to clear the streets.
    Keeping the schools open today–a really, really BAD DECISION! (Lots of kids absent. Lots of teachers absent. Classes combined. No instruction worth mentioning provided. An unpaid babysitting situation! Please tell me, what was accomplished?)

  • Simon

    It is absolutely a predictable weather condition as the forecast called for worst situation in the morning hours. Both of the Mayor and the Chacellor knew it! As you know the most dangerous part is to travel to and from school, which is the key for making the decision for school closing and they both skipped!!! Instead they just emphasize parents need to go to work!!!!! Sounds like they made that decision from business owners prospective!!

  • Rachelle

    Oh please hot meals. How many of those children stay hungry after one meal and are denied by a school worker a extra meal. What a joke . The kids are treated like crap just for asking and sent away still hungry.

  • Connie

    The mayor and chancellor have a misguided view of the role of schools . Public schools are an institution of learning .. Not a baby sitter for parents when they work. Every parent has a support base lined up for times of illness or holidays to watch there children while they work and they can use that during snow days as we'll. Public schools do not feed children their only hot meal like the chancellor would want you to believe…who is feeding these same children meals during weekends or vacations. These are just excuses the mayor and chancellor use to force the opening of school regardless of the weather and without regard to students or teachers safety. Let's call a spade a spade the mayor kept the school open to get state aide. Mayor use some of those 4 allotted snow days and don't wear your not closing as a badge of honor….it is a disgrace. Consider the safety of your students and teachers first.

  • Paul

    "The mayor stressed that many parents rely on schools to be there for their children and for a hot meal." I am a NYC High School Student and school food is NOT hot, to say the least. I starve for the majority of the day because my daily lunch period does not start until 2 pm, and and ends 45 minutes before I'm dismissed for the day. My mom does not feed me left over B/fast bagels smothered with sauce and cheese and call it pizza, nor does she feed me vegetables with their ends still attached, no thanks, I'd rather bring lunch. It'd probably be just as 'hot' as what they serve in school….if not warmer.

  • sandra

    De blasio nd farina needs to step down how the heck you going to have school open and to think because children need a safe place to be and eat what kind of crappy excuse is that what happens on the weekends when there’ll off? You guys are pathetic

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