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Top New York City Business Leaders Urge Albany to Pass Long-term Extension of Mayoral Control

Business Leaders Stephen A. Schwarzman, Richard Beattie, Candace Beinecke & Blair Effron Join Mayor de Blasio to Call for Stable School Governance and Mayoral Accountability  

 

In a letter to Governor Cuomo and leaders of the State Senate and Assembly, over 100 CEO-level members of the Partnership for New York City today urged legislative action to maintain mayoral control of the city school system – a governance system that expires in June – for at least three years. If the State Legislature does not act, the city would legally revert to a system run by the old Board of Education, which previously presided over the deterioration of public education in the five boroughs.

The letter stated, “We need a stable governance system to sustain progress toward the shared objective that every student has the educational experience they need and deserve. There is no justification for exposing more than a million students to the turmoil that would result from the expiration of a system that has served the city well.”

In addition to the letter, four CEO members of the Partnership for New York City – Partnership Co-Chair Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder of Blackstone; Richard Beattie, Senior Chairman, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP; Partnership Vice Chair Candace Beinecke, Chair, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP; and Blair Effron, Founding Partner, Centerview Partners Holdings LLC – joined Mayor de Blasio in City Hall to pledge the business community’s support for a long-term extension of mayoral control. The top priority of Partnership members, who collectively employ more than one million New York residents, is an outstanding public education system that prepares young New Yorkers for jobs in the global economy.

Mayoral control of city schools was implemented in 2002 with the help and support of the Partnership for New York City. The Partnership co-chaired the task force that helped the Legislature develop the mayoral control statute and participated on the legislative commission that drafted the statute to reverse school decentralization. It replaced a dysfunctional and highly politicized system of central and community school boards with a governance system that holds the Mayor accountable for running the city schools.

“Mayoral control has been a significant improvement over what we had before, and it deserves to be extended for at least three more years,” said Partnership Co-Chair Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder of Blackstone. “There is still work to be done, but stable governance will go a long way toward supporting teachers and students and continuing to improve our public schools.”

 

 

Dear Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Flanagan, Speaker Heastie, and Leader Klein:

We write to urge bipartisan support for the long-term extension of state legislation authorizing mayoral control of the New York City public school system. The current statute has resulted in a significant improvement in school governance and student performance. It should not be diluted or otherwise amended.

Clearly much is left to be done to improve public education in the city, but we need a stable governance system to sustain progress toward the shared objective that every student has the educational experience they need and deserve. There is no justification for exposing more than a million students to the turmoil that would result from the expiration of a system that has served the city well. Opening the current law up for amendment or putting conditions on the budget authority of the Mayor would be equally troublesome, blurring lines of responsibility and potentially undermining the integrity of the system.

Some 15 years ago, the Partnership for New York City worked closely with legislators to design the governance system that replaced the dysfunctional and highly politicized central and community school boards that contributed to the deterioration of public education in the city.  There is no question that mayoral control has led to far more transparency and better management of educational resources than existed in the past. Student outcomes – better attendance, improved graduation rates, improved performance on tests – all demonstrate that mayoral control is working in New York City and should be continued.

As employers of more than a million New Yorkers, we urge you to act now to end uncertainty about the future governance of our city schools and extend the current law for at least three years.

Sincerely,

Lee S. Ainslie, III, Managing Partner, Maverick Capital

Richard I. Beattie, Senior Chairman, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Candace K. Beinecke, Chair, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Stephen Berger, Chairman, Odyssey Investment Partners, LLC

William H. Berkman, Managing Partner, Associated Partners, LP

Mark T. Bertolini, Chairman & CEO, Aetna Inc.

Michael W. Blair, Presiding Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Kathy Bloomgarden, Chief Executive Officer, Ruder Finn, Inc.

Adam M. Blumenthal, Managing Partner, Blue Wolf Capital Management

Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Warby Parker

Michael C. Bodson, President & CEO, The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation

Ursula M. Burns, Chairman & CEO, Xerox Corporation

Richard M. Cashin, Managing Partner, One Equity Partners

Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman & CEO, American Express Company

Rodgin Cohen, Senior Chairman, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Beth Comstock, Vice Chair, General Electric Company

Creighton Condon, Senior Partner, Shearman & Sterling

Michael L. Corbat, Chief Executive Officer, Citigroup Inc.

Philippe P. Dauman, Executive Chairman, President and CEO, Viacom Inc.

Todd C. DeGarmo, Chief Executive Officer, STUDIOS Architecture

William R. Dougherty, Chairman, Executive Committee, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Douglas Durst, Chairman, Durst Organization Inc.

Blair W. Effron, Founding Partner, Centerview Partners Holdings LLC

Joel S. Ehrenkranz, Partner and Co-Founder, Ehrenkranz Partners L.P.

Joseph R. Ficalora, President & CEO, New York Community Bancorp, Inc.

Laurence D. Fink, Chairman & CEO, BlackRock, Inc.

Winston C. Fisher, Partner, Fisher Brothers

Alan H. Fishman, Chairman, Ladder Capital Finance LLC

William E. Ford, Chief Executive Officer, General Atlantic LLC

Eric J. Friedman, Managing Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Mark T. Gallogly, Co-Founder and Managing Principal, Centerbridge Partners

Kenneth M. Garschina, Principal, Mason Capital Management, LLC

James P. Gorman, Chairman & CEO, Morgan Stanley

Barry M. Gosin, Chief Executive Officer, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

Jonathan N. Grayer, Chairman & CEO, Weld North LLC

Gerald L. Hassell, Chairman & CEO, BNY Mellon

Robin Hayes, President & CEO, JetBlue Airways Corporation

Brian T. Horey, President, Aurelian Management

Glenn H. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Silver Lake

Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman & CEO, Lazard Ltd

Steven F. Jureller, President & CEO, Cauldwell Wingate Company

Jill Kaplan, Vice President and Publisher, Crain’s New York Business

Brad S. Karp, Chair, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman & CEO, Alcoa Inc.

Henry R. Kravis, Co-Chairman & Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Jared Kushner, Chief Executive Officer, Kushner Companies

William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.

Jeffrey E. Levine, Chairman, Douglaston Development

Pamela Liebman, President & CEO, The Corcoran Group, Inc.

Martin Lipton, Senior Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman & CEO, Macy’s, Inc.

Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman & CEO, Cantor Fitzgerald L.P.

Bridget A. Macaskill, President & CEO, First Eagle Investment Management, LLC

Anthony Malkin, Chairman & CEO, Empire State Realty Trust

Anthony E. Mann, President & CEO, E-J Electric Installation Co.

Robert D. Marcus, Chairman & CEO, Time Warner Cable Inc.

Donald B. Marron, Chairman, Lightyear Capital

Peter W. May, President & Founding Partner, Trian Partners

Charles R. McCall, Chief Executive Officer, Astoria Energy II LLC &, Astoria Energy LLC

Sherilyn McCoy, Chief Executive Officer, Avon Products, Inc.

Edward J. Minskoff, President, Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc.

Mitchell Modell, Chief Executive Officer, Modell’s Sporting Goods

Ken Moelis, Chairman and CEO, Moelis & Company

Leslie Moonves, Chairman & CEO, CBS Corporation

Robert E. Moritz, Chairman & Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP

Deanna M. Mulligan, President & CEO, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

Jon Oringer, Founder & CEO, Shutterstock, Inc.

Richard D. Parsons, Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners

John Paulson, President, Paulson & Co., Inc.

Douglas L. Peterson, President & CEO, S&P Global

Charles E. Phillips, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Infor

Deirdre Quinn, President & CEO, Lafayette 148 New York

Steven L. Rattner, Chairman, Willett Advisors LLC

James D. Robinson, III, Co-Founder & General Partner, RRE Ventures

Julio E. Rojas, Chief Executive Officer, Americas & Head, Corporate & Institutional Banking, Americas, Standard Chartered Bank

Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer, WL Ross & Co. LLC

Michael I. Roth, Chairman & CEO, Interpublic Group

Howard J. Rubenstein, Chairman, Rubenstein Associates, Inc.

William C. Rudin, Co-Vice Chairman & CEO, Rudin Management Company, Inc.

Kevin P. Ryan, Chairman & CEO, AlleyCorp

Alexander Saint-Amand, Chief Executive Officer, GLG

Scott Salmirs, President & CEO, ABM Industries, Inc.

Robert A. Sauerberg, Jr., President & CEO, Condé Nast

Ralph Schlosstein, President & CEO, Evercore Partners Inc.

Alan D. Schnitzer, Chief Executive Officer, The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Alan D. Schwartz, Executive Chairman, Guggenheim Partners, LLC

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder, Blackstone

Frank J. Sciame, Chairman & CEO, F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.

Tarek Sherif, Chairman & CEO, Medidata Solutions, Inc.

Stanley S. Shuman, Senior Advisor, Allen & Company LLC

Jerry I. Speyer, Chairman, Tishman Speyer

Arthur P. Steinmetz, Chairman & CEO, OppenheimerFunds, Inc.

Stuart M. Suna, President, Silvercup Studios

Steven R. Swartz, President & CEO, Hearst

Mary Ann Tighe, Chief Executive Officer, NY Tri-State Region, CBRE, Inc.

James S. Tisch, President & CEO, Loews Corporation

George H. Walker, Chairman & CEO, Neuberger Berman Group LLC

David R. Weinreb, Chief Executive Officer, Howard Hughes Corporation

Charles Weinstein, Chief Executive Officer, EisnerAmper LLP

Robert Wolf, Chief Executive Officer, 32 Advisors, LLC

Kathryn S. Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City

Strauss Zelnick, Chief Executive Officer, ZelnickMedia Corporation

Mort Zuckerman, Chairman, US News & World Report, NY Daily News and, Boston Properties