Bloomberg Says Cathie Black's Birth Control Remark Was A Joke

01/18/2011 09:55 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says his schools chancellor was making a joke when she said birth control would solve the problem of school overcrowding.

Bloomberg came to Chancellor Cathie Black's defense following a Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast Monday. He says she has apologized and "won't make the same mistake again."

Black made the remark last week at a task force meeting on school overcrowding. Upon hearing estimates that lower Manhattan would need an additional 1,000 elementary school seats by 2015, she said birth control "would really help us."

Her spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz says she takes the problem of school overcrowding seriously and regrets her "offhanded joke" left a different impression.

Black is a former executive at Hearst Magazines and USA Today.