Saturday, April 30, 2016


I've had this thought the last few days that maybe, just maybe, Governor Andrew Cuomo will allow the law that gives Mayor Bill de Blasio full control over the New York City schools to expire this June. As the feud between the Governor and Mayor deteriorates into dueling legal investigations over whether de Blasio violated arcane election financing laws or if Cuomo is guilty of conflict of interest/bid rigging in exchange for campaign contributions (old fashion corruption as RBE put it) around the Buffalo Billion project, there is a sleight, but real, possibility that Cuomo will humiliate de Blasio by taking away much of his power over New York City schools.

A more likely scenario is that the Governor along with the Republican and so called Independent Democratic Conference majority in the state Senate will grant de Blasio another one year extension of mayoral control of city schools and make him come begging to Albany every year to continue it. In exchange, there will be some horse trading where we can expect the well funded charter schools to receive some new favors.

But what if the feud becomes so bad that the mayor literally loses control in Albany? If the State Legislature and Governor do nothing (something they are very good at), mayoral control is over at the end of June. The State Legislature must pass an extension of the 2009 law that Cuomo needs to sign or my understanding is the schools would then revert to the education law that was in effect before the original 2002 mayoral control law was passed.

In those days there was a seven member New York City Board of Education. The mayor appointed two members of the Board and the borough presidents appointed one each. The Board picked the chancellor who answered to them.

Knowing how Andrew Cuomo plays politics, it would not surprise me if he was working behind the scenes to make a deal with four of the five borough presidents to outvote the Mayor and take over the city schools. It certainly would be an embarrassment for de Blasio to lose most of his power over education. He would still control much of the money but his authority over the day-to-day school operations would be gone. I doubt too many people on the left or even the right would shed a tear if this happened. They would all blame de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina for inept management of the school system.

Don't laugh as the mayoral control law actually expired in 2009 for a few weeks while a backroom deal was made in Albany to continue it. The feckless borough presidents back then actually voted to keep Joel Klein as Chancellor when they could have ousted him. There might be no deal this time. It is still against the odds that mayoral control ends in June but it is conceivable.


Anonymous said...

I would like to recommend Eva Moskowitz to run NYC schools.

Abigail Shure

Anonymous said...

I second that nomination- anyone is better than the putz. That includes Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

That would improve things. No more duty free lunch for anyone.