by Gary Babad, reprinted from nyceducationnews list
January 31, 2007 (AP): Flush with their success in saving $12,000,000 by cutting out numerous school bus routes in New York City, the corporate "turnaround" firm of Alvarez and Marsal has now aimed their sights at a new cost saving target: school lunches. Starting March 1, the traditional "lunch period" will be eliminated from all New York City schools, to be replaced by an as yet undisclosed academic activity period. In announcing the change, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein lauded the new plan, stating that not only would this move eliminate a cost-ineffective program that had never turned a profit, but would add time to the academic day and thus improve test scores.
Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, as well as numerous parent advocates immediately criticized the planned elimination of the lunch period. In response, Mayor Bloomberg, when reached for comment, held that "Schools are for learning, not for eating". He added that the elimination of lunch would also obviate the necessity of students carrying cell phones to school. "We all know that the only reason parents want their kids to have cell phones is to call and ask what they want for dinner. With no lunch period, they'll be so hungry they won't care what's for dinner."
In a related story, The White House announced today that in a last ditch effort to save Iraq, the Halliburton reconstruction contract would be taken over by Alvarez and Marsal. According to spokesman Tony Snow, "If we can't beat [the insurgents] militarily, we'll cut their transportation and starve them out."
Rumsfeld Named NYC School Bus Chief
February 1, 2007 (GBN News): Stung by criticism of cuts in school bus service, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein announced today that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be the new head of the DOE's embattled Office of Pupil Transportation. Klein cited Rumsfeld's experience in parrying press and public allegations of insufficient planning and resources. The former Defense Secretary's legendary PR abilities were immediately tested. In a press conference, the new transportation chief was asked how he felt about children being denied bus service due to the recent cuts. In a remark eerily reminiscent of a statement he once made about