Councilman Robert Holden is demanding Mayor de Blasio remove schools Chancellor Richard Carranza amid the school chief’s war of words with parents of special-education children.
Holden, a Queens lawmaker and college professor who has repeatedly clashed with Carranza, wrote to Hizzoner Friday blasting a recent tweet by the chancellor that “diminished and mocked the concerns of parents” over summer programs for their kids.
“You must replace him with someone who is capable of having empathy for these children, and who can show them the proper respect they deserve,” Holden wrote.
On Wednesday Carranza Tweeted in response to officials and special-ed parents urging the DOE to open summer schools so their children can resume the therapies and instruction they’re missing during home learning. It followed a directive by Gov. Cuomo allowing summer school programs to open.
“So with all the shifting knowledge of how this virus is spreading … we now want to experiment with our most vulnerable students … Hmmm,” Carranza wrote, alongside a photo of Staten Island parents picketing for a reopening a letter from Republican state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis pushing for a return to school.
After serious blowback, Carranza softened his stance, tweeting the agency “would … discuss potential provision of in-person services [for special-ed students], taking into consideration PPE, transportation, and more.
“We must & we will serve their needs as soon as possible + ensure health & safety at the same time. I look forward to working together.”
City Hall defended Carranza, who has come under fire for failing to protect educators in the early days of the pandemic, and for a poorly planned remote-learning system that some parents say has failed.
“The Chancellor cares deeply about each child, and is 100% committed to serving the unique needs of students with disabilities,” de Blasio spokeswoman Jane Meyer said. “Council Member Holden’s vendetta against the Chancellor just to grab Post headlines is tired and unproductive.”
Summer school is set to start remotely on July 2 for students with special-ed plans, and July 6 for all others.
Additional reporting by Susan Edelman