ALBANY—Lobbyists against mayoral control now have a bill live in both houses, with several legislators signing on.
The measure, called the “Better Schools Act,” would remove the mayor’s ability to appoint the majority of the Panel for Educational Policy, considered a central issue on school control, as well as allowing the New York City Independent Budget Office to audit and evaluate the “financial investments and academic achievement” in public schools. It also would train parents and students to be more involved.
Assemblyman Carl Heastie, who is also the Bronx County Democratic chairman, is carrying the bill. Its co-sponsors include Linda Rosenthal, Jeff Aubry, Bill Boyland, Nelson Castro, Vivian Cook, Deborah Glick, Janele Hyer-Spencer, Hakeem Jeffries, David Koon, Grace Meng, Nick Perry, Linda Rosenthal, Matt Titone, Keith Wright (a contender to be the Manhattan Democratic chairman) and Inez Barron.
The Senate bill is carried by State Senator Kevin Parker, and supported by Bill Perkins, Ruben Diaz Sr., Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Shirley Huntley, Diane Savino, John Sampson and Velmanette Montgomery.
The legislative leaders of both houses have said publicly that they support mayoral control by allowing the mayor to keep a majority of the appointments on the Panel for Educational Policy, but that they would also tweak the current system to allow for more parental involvement and oversight. There is no bill yet introduced that would do that.