State Lawmakers To Reconvene To Try Again On Mayoral Control Of NYC Schools

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Less than a week after they ended their regular session, state lawmakers are returning to Albany to try again when it comes to extending mayoral control of schools in New York City.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo formally ordered the Senate and Assembly to reconvene Wednesday.

The 15-year-old state policy giving Mayor Bill de Blasio control over his city’s schools expires Friday if lawmakers do nothing.

“Mayoral control of education is something where there’s a broad consensus it’s the only system that actually works to run our schools,” de Blasio told WCBS 880. “No one I know, not even the Senate Republicans disagree with the concept of mayoral control… This is the right way to run our schools.”

Cuomo is calling lawmakers back to give the mayor a one year extension on running the city schools.

Last week, Cuomo said it was a “dereliction of duty” for lawmakers to end their 2017 session without a deal to extend mayoral control of city schools.

“For a body that talks so much about education to leave without an agreement… is just the height of irresponsibility,” Cuomo said last Thursday.

Lawmakers ended their work last week without a deal to extend mayoral control.

Senate Republicans wanted to tie an extension to help for charter schools. Assembly Democrats balked and instead tied the renewal of mayoral control to the extension of local sales taxes.

“I’m hopeful that today will be the decisive day,” de Blasio said.

If the policy does expire on June 30, control of city schools would revert to a single board of education and dozens of community school boards.  The city estimates that could create $1.6 billion in added administrative costs over 10 years.

“Since mayoral control went into affect 15 years ago our graduation rate has increased almost 50 percent, test scores have gone up, violence and crime in schools have gone steadily down,” de Blasio told 1010 WINS. “This is because someone is held responsible.”

De Blasio said the old system of 32 local school boards was “characterized by chaos, and corruption, and patronage, and they failed our children.”

Many legislators also want the special session to focus on emergency funding for the city’s subways, following another derailment Tuesday.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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