Mayor: Report on troubled Queens school by end of day

Mayor de Blasio talks with students. (AP Photo/Enid Alvarez, Pool)
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Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday afternoon he expects a report by the end of the day on a Queens elementary school where the principal is allegedly often absent and students spend the day watching television in a rat-infested building.

De Blasio said the investigation into P.S. 106 would focus on the school's operation and on an annex wrecked during Superstorm Sandy that previously housed pre-K, kindergarten, and first and second grade students, but has not yet been repaired, according to a news account.

In a series of articles about P.S. 106, the New York Post reported that principal Marcella Sills is frequently absent, forces parents to pay more than $100 for a school formal, and that students spend much of their school day watching television.

"I expect to get a full report by the end of the afternoon and then we will decide how to proceed," de Blasio said, after meeting with Cardinal Dolan. "We're not going to see our children not get the finest education. Every school has to provide the best possible education."

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De Blasio said he spoke with chancellor Carmen Fariña on Sunday night and "couldn't agree more" with her plan to send deputy chancellor Dorita Gibson to the school on Monday morning.

Gibson visited the school along with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens District 31 Councilman Donovan Richards. Neither the D.O.E. or the Mayor's Office have released details about the visit.

"We are going to take this investigation very seriously and then make decisions," de Blasio said.