ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayoral control over New York City schools expires at the end of the month, and talk about an extension remains a hot-button political issue.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Smithtown) said he will support a one-year extension of the mayor’s control over city schools. But he said he also wants a new inspector for oversight.

The state Assembly late last month passed a bill that would renew mayoral control for three more years, though de Blasio previously wanted the policy renewed for seven years.

De Blasio spokesman Austin Finan characterized the extension of mayoral control of schools as a critical issue.

“We’ve said from the get go that a multi-year extension is critical to maintaining stability in our schools,” Finan said. “And anything less than that, you know, a year by year process where mayoral control is reevaluated I think just lends huge instability to our public school system. It’s something we just can’t afford.”

Finan said eliminating mayoral control would subject students to “turning back the clock to the bad old days.”

De Blasio’s administration is the subject of five separate corruption probes that focus on Mayor de Blasio and the alleged pay-to-play culture at City Hall. On the issue of mayoral control of schools, state Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Shrub Oak) earlier demanded to know whether pay-to-play figured into any of the $9 billion of taxpayer dollars in the city school budget.

De Blasio also took heat on May 19 for not attending a state hearing on mayoral control of schools, on the grounds that he had already spent four hours testifying to the same committee in Albany.

After a meeting Monday with Flanagan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx) said they were working to negotiate an agreement.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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