SCUTTLING BASIC ED

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FYI: Check out the City Limits Research Center to read Mayor Bloomberg’s letter lobbying for Governor Pataki’s recent veto of a bill that would have made it easier for welfare recipients to learn English and earn high school equivalency diplomas. Pataki nixed the bill in late December largely on the advice of Bloomberg, insiders say. The mayor’s letter primarily states concern about losing “flexibility” to put New Yorkers on public assistance in what “we believe to be the most productive assignments;” the mayor makes no mention of what most welfare clients consider to be most productive. The bill would have let recipients count up to 16 hours a week of GED and English as a Second Language classes toward the state’s work requirements. [1/9/03]