The New York State Legislature convened a special session that granted New York City mayor Bill de Blasio a two-year extension on mayoral control of the city’s school system.
The deal followed two straight years in which the legislature granted de Blasio successive one-year extensions of mayoral control. The process of renewing mayoral control has been a politically fraught one, with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Republican controlled New York State Assembly, and Mayor de Blasio all jockeying for leverage in the negotiations. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan unsuccessfully tried to link the extension of mayoral control to an expansion of charter schools in the city.
Mayoral control over the city’s schools began in 2002. Before mayoral control, the New York City School system was controlled by a Board of Education and thirty-two locally elected community school boards.
Advocates for mayoral control such as schools Chancellor Carmen Farina argue that without mayoral control “the entire system will slide back into the old, decentralized structure we had before. That would mean chaos, gridlock and corruption.”
Advocates of mayoral control also argue that it makes initiating large-scale initiatives possible, while critics of mayoral control contend that it alienates parents and undermines their ability to have a say in the education of their children.
Sources and Resources: