Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who will be able to appoint a member of the Board of Education if mayoral control is not renewed by next week’s deadline, announces program his appointee will introduce to ensure continued safe and effective operation of NYC public schools if the mayoral control law expires and the Board is reconstituted.
One Centre Street, Manhattan
Thursday, June 25, 2009
FROM NY DAILY NEWS
City schools on the brink of chaos as mayoral control is up for renewal
BY KENNETH LOVETT AND RACHEL MONAHAN
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Thursday, June 25th 2009, 4:00 AM
Albany’s bungling lawmakers are putting the city on the brink of chaos – in its classrooms and in its wallet.
From sales-tax hikes to mayoral control of schools – both requiring Albany’s nod – the city is drifting into uncharted waters.
If mayoral control isn’t renewed next week, the school system reverts to the jurisdiction of the Board of Education and 32 local boards – which no longer exist.
“To go from a centralized system to a decentralized system right away would be very, very messy,” said Michelle Goldstein, the city’s chief lobbyist.
“Lawyers are currently reviewing whether [the Board] could immediately start reversing policies and making changes.”
A resurrected board could dump Chancellor Joel Klein. It could reverse Mayor Bloomberg’s initiatives – like ending social promotion – said experts and a mayoral aide.
The board’s members – two appointed by the mayor and one by each borough president – could not be removed, even if they stopped supporting the elected official’s policies.
“Unless the borough president appointed potted plants and not human beings, the appointees could decide to walk,” said former board general counsel David Bloomfield.
“I don’t think it’s a catastrophe – it’s just crazy.”
The local boards, which once had a major say in picking superintendents, would have to be restored, but elections were always held in May.
“There’s going to be major confusion. They’re going to revert to a system that hasn’t been in place for eight years,” said parent David Grinage of Brooklyn.
In addition to mayoral control, the city is waiting on a sales-tax increase. It will cost $2 million a day if the Senate doesn’t act, Bloomberg has estimated.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has said it could lead to immediate layoffs.
“It’s fairly black and white,” Quinn said. “If they don’t pass it, 16,000 people ain’t working.”
But is a sliver lining: Shoppers wouldn’t have to fork over the extra sales tax.
“I’m looking to save money, every penny,” said Sofia Williams, 36, of Harlem.
With Adam Lisberg