Mayoral Control Of City Schools May End In Near Future

Originally published in Queens Gazette

Mayoral control of public schools, a policy in New York City since 2002 with periodic approval of the state, expires on June 30th.

A public hearing by the Senate Standing Committee on New York City Education, chaired by Senator John Liu, was held in Manhattan on March 15th with the stated purpose “to discuss school governance reform and mayoral accountability.”

Senator Robert Jackson (District 31 Manhattan) at the outset said, “I am looking to change mayoral control because I believe one person in charge is a dictatorship.”

In January, Governor Cuomo proposed a three-year extension of mayoral control in his budget and Jackson has proposed only a one-year extension to “improve school governance.”

“(Mayoral control or school governance) is a huge issue (and) number one in the budget,” said Senator Velmanette Montgomery (District 25 Brooklyn). “New York City is the only district in the state that has mayoral control,” she said, adding the issue “has nothing to do with who is the mayor.” Velmanette said the New York City Council “should have a stronger role.”

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