New York—State Senator Liz Krueger joined her colleagues in the Senate Democratic Conference this week to announce the establishment of the NYC School Governance Task Force. The task force is comprised of nine Senate Democratic members who will investigate and report on the effect the State's 2002 legislation establishing "Mayoral Control" has had on the New York City public educational system. The Task Force is scheduling a series of six public hearings over the next few months, with two in Manhattan and one in each of the other boroughs.
"I am looking forward to working with this Task Force to broaden the public dialogue on the changes that have come with Mayoral Control," said Senator Krueger. "Parents, Teachers, Principals, educational researchers and City government officials all have their own perspective on what has worked and what hasn't since we moved the City's school system directly under the authority of the Mayor. I am looking forward to hearing from everyone at these hearings."
The New York City educational system has been under mayoral control since the State passed the New York City education and reform accountability act of 2002. This law was intended to overhaul the City's public school system by consolidating most of the administrative and personnel powers into the office of the Schools Chancellor, who is solely accountable to the Mayor. This State law is scheduled to sunset on June 30, 2009.
"With the law set to expire, we have been given a golden opportunity to hear from the public and figure out what changes might need to be made," said Senator Krueger. "The parents and educators who I expect to see at these meetings are the ones who experience first hand how Mayoral Control has affected the City's school system. They have the first hand experience to educate the legislature about what has worked and what problems need to be fixed."
Senator Krueger continued, "I have met with many constituents since this law went into effect, who have serious and legitimate concerns about our schools. I don't think anyone wants to revert back to the old Board of Education model, but this is just the right time to evaluate how we should adjust our laws to improve the system and reach further toward our goal of having the best school system in the country."