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De Blasio Lauds School Renewal Program For Improvements At Automotive H.S.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio is crediting a city program for improving one of New York City's most dangerous schools.

The mayor said Wednesday that his administration is "laser-focused'' on improving Automotive High School and the rest of the 94 schools involved in the School Renewal Program.

De Blasio visited the school, where he said suspensions are down 47 percent compared with last year and the two most serious classifications of violent incidents are down 33 percent.

"We are working every single day to deepen the progress happening on the ground at schools like Automotive,'' de Blasio said. "We're ensuring they have the right leadership and the support they need to turn around and deliver the education these students deserve.''

De Blasio Lauds School Renewal Program For Improvements At Automotive H.S.

The program, introduced in November of last year, created school resource centers for families that remain open past the regular school day.

The so-called "renewal schools" receive additional funding for services such as weekend tutoring and expanded after-school programs.

"Mayoral control works. The jury came back a long time ago,'' de Blasio said. "There's no debate here. It's time for Albany to renew mayoral control.''

Success Academy founder Eva Moskowitz, who has fought with de Blasio over the role of charter schools in the city, said earlier Wednesday that she agrees with him about mayoral control.

"I do support mayoral control, despite my differences with this mayor,'' Moskowitz said at a talk hosted by the law firm Cozen O'Connor and the New York Observer.

Meanwhile Chancellor Carmen Farina told City Council members on Wednesday that city schools have made progress on de Blasio's watch, but that there is also more to be done.

The mayor and chancellor spoke as the city awaited decisions from Albany on education-related issues. They include continued mayoral control of New York City schools and raising the cap on charter schools.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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