Senator Klein introduces bill to extend mayoral control & increase parental involvement

Albany, NY – Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) introduced legislation (S.6588) to extend mayoral control of New York City Public Schools for two years and to heighten parental involvement on Community Education Councils.

“Mayoral control works for our city schools and has developed a successful system of accountability and organization which should continue. Many parents would love to take on a more active role in their child’s education and I want to give those parents the ability to get involved and be heard through Community Education Councils. This is a sensible approach to extending a system that works for our city,” said Senator Klein.

The legislation extends mayoral control until June 30, 2019. It also encourages more parental involvement through Community Education Councils by expanding the eligibility requirements to include a broader range of parents and increasing the length of terms from two to three years.

“The ECC thanks the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) for working with us to increase parental involvement in public schools. We believe that this legislation is a strong first step to provide opportunities for all parents to have meaningful participation in educational policy discussions and decisions,” said the parents of the Education Council Consortium.

Under the proposal, the city-wide council on special education would expand to 13 members and make District 75 parents eligible to sit on councils. Parents of English language learners who have been enrolled in bilingual or ELL programs will have the ability to serve on the city-wide council on English language learners.

Eligibility would also expand for ELL parent-members to the Community District Education Council, under the proposal, to allow parents of students who previously took bilingual or ELL classes to participate.

The legislation would also expand training for the councils on open meetings law, parliamentary procedures and finance. It would expand their powers to include advising and consenting to appointments of community superintendents, district budgets, district safety plans, district safety plans and district policy. Councils would also be empowered to approve the closing and consolidation of schools within their districts.