‘No One Is Above the Law’: Divisive Trump Surrogate Carl Paladino Removed From Buffalo School Board

Veto Override Uncertain as Fight Over Funding Illinois Schools Moves to the House

Noble Network of Charter Schools: It’s Not Just About Going to College, but About Global Perspective & Leaving Chicago

74 Interview: David Hardy on Putting Purpose Before Politics and Kids Before Adults in Leading Ohio’s 2nd State-Takeover District

For Schools, an Eclipse Conundrum: To Open or Close? For Fun or for Science?

New Poll Shows Sharp Decline in Support for Public Charter Schools Over Past Year

A Massachusetts Teachers Union Votes to Kill a Successful Charter School, as Families Scramble for Answers

WATCH: Mission to Mars Video Wins $10,000 and Visit to NASA for 4 NJ Middle Schoolers

Jason Botel Reportedly Out at Education Dept. as Feds Reject ESSA Plan From DeVos’s Home State

2 in 3 High School Students Know of Kids Who Cheat Using Digital Devices — but Few Admit Doing It Themselves

Fewer Than 1 in 3 Americans Support Kids Opting out of Tests; About Half Confused on What ‘Opt Out’ Means

Call Her RoboKid: How a Cutting-Edge Robot Is Helping an Ohio Student Attend Classes While She’s Sick at Home

LearnLaunch Accelerator Gives a Boost to Ed Tech Startups Worldwide From Its Boston Home

No More School Daze? California Weighs Making Middle & High Schools Start Later So Students Can Sleep In

This Week in ESSA: Pennsylvania Looks to Cut Testing Time, Indiana Reformats A–F Grades & 3 More Approvals

What Our Kids Made at Summer Camp: Proud Parents Posting Adorable Photos of Arts & Crafts on Social Media

74 Interview: Michael Lomax, CEO of the United Negro College Fund, on Guiding Low-Income Students Through College

Los Angeles Schools Launch Campaign and Resource Guides to Protect Immigrant Students

300 Tutors, Working With Students 2 Hours a Day: One School Network’s Investment in Personalized Learning

Data Sharing, Data Dumping & Claims of ‘Academic Fraud’ in Tweetstorm Over Story About Louisiana Vouchers

NYC’s Mayoral Control Hearing Still Not Set; Testy Issue May Hinge on Lifting Charter Cap

Photo Credit: Getty Images

May 18, 2017

Talking Points

Why all quiet on the #NYC mayoral control front? No hearings set as state leg sessions nears end

NY state lawmakers link mayoral control of NYC schools renewal to ending charter cap, but mum on details

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

New York City

A year ago today, New York state lawmakers had just wrapped the second and final hours-long hearing that presaged their decision to extend Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control over New York City schools by just one year rather than the lengthier term he wanted.

Those 12 months are up June 30, and the mayor is once again seeking a “multi-year” extension, a de Blasio spokeswoman said. As of Thursday, though, no hearings for this year’s mayoral control bout had been scheduled, but the stage is set for another grating battle that is likely to dominate the final frantic month of the legislative session, which ends June 21.

Lawmakers in the Republican-led Senate have been loath to grant de Blasio anything more than a one-year renewal for the past two years.

The wide-ranging 2016 hearings took place in Albany on May 4 and New York City on May 19, with de Blasio skipping the latter one, prompting criticism from senators and pro–charter school advocates.

The debate stands to be even more complicated because powerbrokers in the state Senate have linked it to another point of disagreement with de Blasio: the cap currently limiting the number of charter schools permitted in New York City.

Both issues were expected to be included in the state budget but were left out of the final deal approved in April. Not long afterward, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Republican of Suffolk, announced that there would be no mayoral control extension without loosening the limit on charter schools, the Queens Chronicle reported.

“One of the things the city continues to do is flout the law and make sure the charter schools [face] unbelievable difficulty to secure space,” Flanagan told reporters in early May, Newsday reported. “I’d rather stop playing around.”

City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña appeared before the legislature at the end of April to praise the administration’s chief accomplishments: the rollout of free, universal pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds; raising high school graduation rates; and lowering the dropout rate.

Meanwhile, the top Republican legislators who have led the hearings in past years are keeping quiet about when — or if, for that matter — they expect to hear a formal education progress report from the Democratic mayor himself, who is seeking re-election with no obvious viable challenger in sight.

Flanagan’s office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

De Blasio said in January that he saw no reason to lift the cap, and his aides have sharply pushed back on the attempt to tie that issue to renewal of mayoral control.

“Mayoral control is a proven governance model that stands on its own, and we will not allow it to be held hostage,” spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said, adding that “we cannot afford to go back” from the gains produced under de Blasio’s stewardship of New York City’s 1,800 public schools and 1.1 million students.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Democrat of the Bronx, said much the same, Newsday reported: “We’re not interested in adding any other criteria to extend the governance of schools.”

In 2015, de Blasio initially sought a seven-year extension but, in a rebuke from Senate Republicans, received only one additional year. Michael Bloomberg was the first mayor to gain control over the schools, in 2002, not long after he assumed office, and it was renewed in 2009 for six years.