NY School Control Deals Reached

by NYC Firm Schools on July 29, 2009

Delays, arguments and an all out blockade have ended with the renewal to renew Mayor Bloomberg’s control of NYC schools. The NY Times reported on the story of New York School control:

The deal appeared to be a victory for Mayor Bloomberg, who had repeatedly assailed the legislators blocking his agenda in Albany.
The legislation would leave the mayor’s power over the school system intact, while adding some new programs, like a parent training institute and an arts advisory council.

The background of course included the transfer of city school management from the Board of Education to the mayor in 2002. The original date of the bill set an expiration date of June 30, 2009. When no renewal was set last month, a power and control crisis became center stage. With the agreement finally reached, it seems as though the Mayor has overtaken control and won out over the Democrats that had demanded negotiations and additions to the bill.

The changes are relatively minor and will do little to temper the mayor’s control. There were no provisions, for example, requiring that the schools chancellor have an education degree, and members of the Panel for Educational Policy, the school oversight board, were not given fixed terms, as Mr. Bloomberg’s harshest critics had sought.

The agreement will allocate about $3 million to the City University of New York for the next two years to create a parent training center in each of the five boroughs. Officials said there had been no discussions about who would lead the center or how it would work.

The mood among politicians and educational advocates was relatively grim but most agreed that a deal had to be reached and was. One Senator, however, held little back.

Senator Monserrate, as he was leaving a meeting about the legislation on Friday, said, “The mayor can really be a mensch when he wants to be.”

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