Mayoral Control of NY Schools Still In the Air

by NYC Firm Schools on July 21, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg’s battle to renew his control of New York City’s school system has met with another roadblock as Senate Democrats insisted about amendments before they would support the bill. The Mayor, just as steadfast, has refused to compromise.

The NYTimes reported on the issue of Control in NY Schools:

Talks between the mayor’s staff and groups of Democrats from the city who are seeking to amend the bill remained at an impasse on Wednesday.
Both sides appeared to only dig their heels in deeper, undercutting hopes that a resolution could be reached soon. The mayor, who has said the bill needs immediate approval so the school system can have a clear line of authority, was resolute about considering no changes. Senate Democrats, who would leave the mayor’s power intact but want some revisions, like giving parents opportunities to be more involved, said the bill was going nowhere without the changes.

Staff from both sides have met with little success in negotiations and talks, leaving everyone frustrated. The issue of power and total control is being increasingly discussed as a personal factor in what is really a public concern.

Members of the mayor’s staff met on Tuesday night with Senator Shirley L. Huntley of Queens to discuss her amendments, which would create a council to promote cultural education, establish a commission to study school safety and provide training for parents who want to be more involved.
“It wasn’t a good meeting,” Ms. Huntley said on Wednesday. “They don’t want to concede anything. We’re not asking for big things here. We’re not trying to break his power.”
Other proposals Democrats are discussing include limiting members of the school system’s governing board to fixed two-year terms and requiring that one of the mayor’s appointees to the board be a parent of a special education student.

Control of NY Schools will be an issue that continues to be on the minds of parents and school officials in NY.

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