Mayor and Chancellor of Schools push for extension of mayor’s control over NYC public schools
STATEN ISLAND, NY — Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks, along with union leaders and members, urged the mayor’s extension of control of New York’s public school system at a rally on Monday.
The Mayor and Chancellor were joined by representatives from District Council 37 (DC37), Hotel Trades Council (HTC), 32BJ SEIU, Local 372 and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
“The mayor’s continued accountability will benefit each of New York’s nearly one million students and allow us to make transformative changes to the education system to address the systemic inequalities that have plagued public schools for years,” said said Adams. “The mayor’s accountability will also provide parents with certainty as we prepare for the summer and the following school year. We look forward to working closely with our colleagues in Albany to ensure our schools continue to move in the right direction.
Adams pointed to the many successes of the mayor’s scrutiny, including launching Pre-K for All, increasing graduation rates by more than 20%, ensuring every school receives 100% fair student funding, and coordinating of the huge interagency coronavirus (COVID-19) response.
Mayoral control of New York schools has been on the books since 2002, when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg won the state legislature to grant him authority for seven years. Previously, 32 local school boards controlled the approximately 1,800 schools.
In 2019, the state legislature extended the mayoral control provisions for three years. It is due to expire on June 30 – meaning the state should take action through legislation by the June 30 deadline.
If not approved, the mayor would no longer have control of the city’s public school system, and it would revert to the state.
“The mayor’s leadership has brought mental health services to every school, opened the largest summer enrichment program ever, and found innovative ways to meet the needs of our families. and our students,” Banks said. “Whether it’s responding to a crisis or providing the supports needed for our children’s bold future, it’s clear that our students, our schools and our communities deserve the stability that a renewed fast, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature on how best to serve future generations of New Yorkers.
Adams and Banks outlined a bold plan for the city’s public schools, which includes: expanded opportunities for summer learning; a renewed emphasis on literacy, screenings and early intervention for dyslexia; offering every student a pathway to a well-paying career.
Mayoral oversight, the mayor’s office said, is critical to driving these new initiatives and others to help address the impacts of the pandemic on learning and set all students on the path to success.
Adams and Banks have been battling for control of the mayor for a few months.
Banks explained that he and Adams are both products of the city’s public schools – and the Chancellor noted that there are still issues to work out. He said the special education system is broken and needs fixing, multilingual learners are too often left behind and black and brown boys remain at the bottom of most achievement indicators.
Extending the mayor’s control for the next four years, Adams said, will also allow the city to address uncertainties in children’s educational experience, including learning loss in math and reading and issues mental health issues that have arisen during the pandemic.
Additionally, Adams said there needs to be “real transparency” in schools across the city regarding student performance during the school year. The city plans to set up an EduStat that would show these numbers to families.
“You should be able to assess your child’s tendency, where they’re struggling, so we can get the resources right there. We don’t have that system in place. It’s amazing that we don’t. don’t,” Adams said a few months ago.
The mayor’s continued control would also allow the city to move forward and ensure students get “the education they need and the opportunities they deserve.”
“I’m a product of that system,” Banks said in March. “My entire professional career has been dedicated to the lives of young people in this system. And I know what it means to involve parents and families. That’s why we need a four-year extension [of mayoral control] in the state budget. »