arroyoThe Assembly Education Committee’s hearing on struggling schools grew heated earlier on Wednesday when Bronx Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo railed against New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina’s efforts to aid bilingual students.

“I’m sorry, but I wasn’t elected to come here and kiss ass,” Arroyo shouted as Committee Chairwoman Cathy Nolan sought to move forward in the hearing.

Raising her voice and even slapping her hand on the table for emphasis, Arroyo was angered by what she saw as a lack of assistance for bilingual students and their families in city schools.

“You don’t have in your office a person or a division where the parents can go and make a request to have their children placed in bilingual program,” she said at the hearing.

Farina responded that her department has already sought to increase funding for bilingual programs as well as new training for school professionals.

“We have increased the amount of professional development of bilingual education in New York City,” Farina said. “We’re looking for extra support for these students, particularly technology assistance, but in terms of access to parents, I don’t think there’s ever been a chancellor or has done more.”

Farina also pointed to the town halls she has conducted with bilingual and non-English speaking families and her visits to neighborhoods in the Bronx.

But Arroyo was not convinced.

“You put salaries and you put people to work, but the community, that is the parents of the children who you people are obligated to serve, obligated to serve the taxpayers’ money to serve the children,” she said. “That’s why I’m angry on that.”

As some lawmakers on the panel grew noticeably restless with Arroyo’s shouting, Nolan sought to intervene.

“I know we can passed if there’s been some miscommunication, perhaps the fault is mine,” she said.

Nolan at one point noted that Farina is the “first bilingual chancellor” for city schools, a point Arroyo argued, saying there had been six chancellors who spoke multiple languages.

“I never knew Joel Klein to speak anything but English,” Nolan answered. “I just want us to move forward.”

Nolan added: “Carmen, we love the work that you do.”