Today, the Partnership for New York City sent the following letter to New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie calling for the extension of mayoral control of the city’s public school system.
Dear Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie,
The New York City business community, which employs almost 4 million people, is committed to ensuring the city has the best possible education system. Mayoral accountability for school performance is necessary to achieve that goal. We fully support a multi-year renewal of mayoral control.
The Partnership worked with the legislature on the task force initiatives that drafted the mayoral control legislation in 2002 and we continue to believe that it is the best system of governance. Under this system, the citywide graduation rate has increased more than 20 percentage points. The city’s class of 2021 achieved a four-year high school graduation rate of 81.2%, including among Asian, Black and Hispanic students. The dropout rate fell to 4.8% in 2021, a 1 percentage point decrease from 2020.
Before 2002, the city’s school system was chaotic, inefficient, plagued by patronage, and highly politicized. We saw declines in educational quality and student performance for more than 40 years. As employers who depend on the city’s schools to prepare students for college and careers, we have a stake in the system and believe that any dilution of mayoral control would jeopardize the progress made over the past two decades.
We urge the legislature to continue to hold the New York City mayor accountable for the success of the city’s schools by reauthorizing mayoral control without amendment in the 2022-23 fiscal year budget.
President and CEO
Partnership for New York City