September 11, 2009 (GBN News): In a dramatic City Hall news conference, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that he has purchased the naming rights to the entire NY City school system. Henceforth, each city school will be called “Bloomberg School” followed by the school number. For example, PS 221 will now be known as “Bloomberg School 221”.
The Mayor promised that “every penny” of the $2 billion purchase price will go “straight to the classroom” in the form of charter school funding and merit pay for teachers. US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, saying that the deal “Personifies both the letter and the spirit of our reforms”, immediately announced the Education Department will match the $2 billion with an equal amount of “Race to the Top” stimulus funds.
Critics pounced on the deal, contending that it is illegal to name a school after a living person. However, State Senator Frank Padavan, for whom the former Glen Oaks Campus was named (coincidently right before his own re-election bid), looked very much alive as he told GBN News, “If they can name it for a mere State Senator, they can certainly do it for someone as rich – I mean, as prominent – as the Mayor.”
In other news, Bloomberg LP, the Mayor’s own financial software and data company, announced today that it has been awarded a contract with the NY City Board of Elections to provide the city with new computerized voting machines. The machines are expected to be delivered in time for the upcoming Mayoral election, and a company spokesperson said that city voters will be “really happy with some of the features of the new machines.” For example, he said, as a convenience to the many voters who intend to vote for the Mayor, Mr. Bloomberg’s name will be highlighted in large print, “with little stars next to it so nobody will miss it.”