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Statement from Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City, On Majority Leader Flanagan’s Mayoral Control Bill

The business community is relying on the leadership of Majority Leader John Flanagan to ensure that New York City schools continue to have a rational governance system, along the lines of the mayoral control legislation that his conference was instrumental in designing in 2002.  The bill that Majority Leader Flanagan introduced last night would require greater parent and community involvement in policy-making and more communication about what is happening in the schools, which are both laudable. On the other hand, his bill extends mayoral control for only one year and contains a provision that would establish an Education Inspector appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the Senate, with powers to appeal all local policy decisions to the State Education Department, which is primarily accountable to the Assembly majority. If this provision is enacted, once again we will have fractured lines of authority and accountability in management of the city schools. It is understandable that Majority Leader Flanagan and his conference are looking for some additional transparency and access to data on school performance, but hopefully they can achieve that without throwing our schools back into a divisive governance system in which nothing can get done.