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Mayor spars with Al Roker over decision to keep schools open

Thursday - 2/13/2014, 4:28pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York's new mayor is getting some harsh criticism today from the teachers' union -- and from TV weatherman Al Roker -- for keeping schools open today.

The winter storm that's moved into the Northeast brought nearly 10 inches of snow to the city.

Roker is in Russia for the Winter Olympics, but he has a daughter in New York's public schools. He tweeted that the snow policy is "ridiculous" -- and that it will take "some kid or kids getting hurt" before the city changes what he calls "this goofball policy."

And the president of the United Federation of Teachers says it's "unwarranted" to have students, parents and staff traveling in those conditions.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio says it was the right decision -- even though almost every other school district in the region was closed. He says many families depend on the schools to supply a safe place and nutrition for their children, and that many parents have to work despite the weather.

And he responds to Roker by saying, "It's a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV."

%@AP Links

240-w-31-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent, with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (BLAH'-zee-oh), D-NYC)--Schools are open in snow-ravaged New York City, but it's a controversial decision. AP correspondent Warren Levinson reports. (13 Feb 2014)

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APPHOTO NYCR126: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers his budget address at City Hall in New York Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. De Blasio unveiled his first budget proposal Wednesday, revealing that the nation's largest city has a surplus but warning that it still faces stark fiscal challenges due to the expired labor contracts by all 150 municipal unions. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, Pool) (12 Feb 2014)

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