No deal yet in Albany over mayoral control of schools

Mayoral control over New York City public schools expires June 30, 2017. The state Assembly has approved a two-year extension for Mayor Bill de Blasio but the state Senate hasn't. The Senate has to approve it in order for it to become law.

Pre-K students performed for the mayor and other city educational leaders Wednesday. De Blasio used the opportunity to point out that universal pre-K wouldn't exist in the city if mayoral control over city schools wasn't in place. 

De Blasio is at odds with Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Long Island Republican. Flanagan has refused to pass an extension unless the cap is lifted on the number of charter schools permitted in the city. The mayor said he is willing to find common ground. De Blasio said that if the Senate allows mayoral control to expire the old system consisting of a Board of Education and 32 local school boards will be back in control. 

A former Department of Education deputy chancellor who worked with then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg to implement mayoral control reflected on the corruption and dysfunction of the old days. Shael Polakow-Suransky said that back then, you could pay a local board thousands of dollars and get a job as an assistant principal or even principal.

But CUNY education professor David Bloomfield told Fox 5 that the sky will not fall because ultimately the state Legislature will extend mayoral control. Professor Bloomfield said that no one wants to see the community school boards back in place, so ultimately lawmakers will renew the law.

The Legislature could stay in session for the rest of the week and reach an agreement or it could come back for a special session at some point.