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Cortines Resigns as N.Y.C. Schools Chancellor

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Caught in a long-running power struggle with Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Ramon C. Cortines announced last week he was resigning as chancellor of the New York City schools.

In a two-sentence memo to Carol A. Gresser, the president of the city school board, Mr. Cortines said he planned to step down from his post on Oct. 15, and would be willing to leave earlier if the board desired.

The decision came just days after Mayor Giuliani moved, over the chancellor's objections, to appoint a special commission to investigate school crime and the adequacy of the school system's security division.

The mayor has called for the job of maintaining school security to be turned over to the city police department. He also has demanded a new round of cuts in the system's budget that are being described as the deepest in years.

Although clearly troubled by these events, Mr. Cortines, 63, offered no explanation in his resignation notice. He simply thanked the city school board for giving him an opportunity to serve.

"No regrets!" Mr. Cortines said in closing the note. Neither he nor Ms. Gresser could be reached late last week for comment.

Sandra Feldman, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, the city's teachers' union, said in a terse statement that the chancellor's resignation left her "very concerned."

"There are terrible problems facing the system, and this compounds them," she said.

--Peter Schmidt

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