I have said this before and I will say it again:
Go ahead make my day; let mayoral control die!
There is nothing to fear if we go back to community districts. As we have reported, the 1996 law took hiring power away from the school boards. That is the law we would revert to if mayoral control dies in two weeks.
Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan sounds almost hysterical in City and State, criticizing the Republicans in the State Senate for putting pro-charter school legislation in any bill extending mayoral control.
“The consequences of not doing mayoral control for the city children would be very negative, so I don’t understand why Sen. Flanagan and Republicans are asking what they’re asking.” – Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan
Relax Assemblywoman Nolan. It's not the end of the world as we know it and we will be just fine under the 1996 school governance law.
No need to say there will be very negative consequences. There will be very few and they will be mostly positive if the 2009 mayoral control law expires. The mayor would have to work with the borough presidents to enact education policy on an independent Board of Education. The mayor would have two votes on the Board and the borough presidents would have one each so his honor would need the support of representatives of two of the borough presidents to have a working majority. That would be a healthy check on mayoral power.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew also needs to stop worrying about pro-charter people running in school board elections next May. Please have someone read him the 1996 law. The school boards will have very little power if mayoral control expires.
CLIPPING THEIR WINGSIn the last election, which was held last year, voters may have stayed away from polls because the community boards have so little power. Under the prodding of then-Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew, the New York State Legislature in 1996 redefined the responsibilities of local school boards, taking away much of their power, including the authority to name a the district superintendent.
Today, school boards no longer manage day-to-day affairs within the district or hire or promote school district employees, including principals. Instead, the local school boards set educational policy, mostly just by helping to select a superintendent for the school district. Even here they don't have the final say; the chancellor does.
The 1996 law removed much of the rationale for the boards' existence, according to Public Advocate Mark Green, who declared in a speech delivered in April that school boards should be eliminated. "The local school boards were a great idea -- in theory -- but rarely worked in practice," Green stated. "Some became patronage mills, doling out jobs and contracts to friends. Most, now stripped of their powers, are today excess weight in a bureaucracy that needs to be simplified and flattened. It's time for them to go."
The Gazette article then goes on to defend the School Boards since they give parents some say in education.
People worried that the mayor would not fund education if he didn't control the Board of Education also need to relax. There is a NYS law called the Stavisky Goodman law that passed over Governor Hugh Carey's veto in 1976 that said the city must fund elementary and secondary education at least with the same proportion of city funds as the last three fiscal years.This is from Case Text.com:
I don't see where this law, which was upheld by the New York State Court of Appeals, has been repealed so I believe it is still on the books.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Mayor Michael Bloomberg or no other mayor deserves a dictatorship over the schools. It doesn't work and just leads to numbers faking to make the mayor look good.
Can someone in authority study a little history?