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Top New York City Business Leaders Urge NYS Senate Majority Leader Flanagan & NYS Assembly Speaker Heastie to Reach Bipartisan Compromise To Extend Mayoral Control of City Schools for At Least Three Years

May 28, 2015

Failure to Enact Extension of Mayoral Control Will Throw New York City’s Public Education System into Chaos

In a strong letter to leaders of the State Senate and Assembly, CEO 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. Failure to act would mean the city legally reverts to the old Board of Education and community school boards, which presided over the deterioration of public education in the five boroughs. The letter, which was signed by 72 CEOs, said, “Failure to enact this extension before the end of June will throw New York City’s public education system into chaos. 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 our city well for thirteen years.”

Mayoral control of city schools was implemented in 2002 with the help and support of the Partnership for New York City. 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. The Assembly recently passed a three-year extension of mayoral control and the State Senate introduced a bill on Tuesday to extend mayoral control for one year.

“Maintaining mayoral control of city schools is critical to students, parents and employers who all depend on high quality public schools,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “Mayoral control has created a better, more transparent governance system than existed in the past – attendance has improved, graduation rates are up, and students are performing better on tests. The results clearly demonstrate that mayoral control is working and should be continued.”

The signatories also pledged their support for expanding the number of charter schools that can be established in New York State.

Signatories of the letter included: Philippe P. Dauman, President and CEO, Viacom Inc.; James P. Gorman, Chairman & CEO, Morgan Stanley; Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman & CEO, American Express Company; Jerry I. Speyer, Chairman & Co-CEO, Tishman Speyer; Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman & CEO, Macy’s, Inc.; Laurence D. Fink, Chairman & CEO, BlackRock, Inc.; and Kevin P. Ryan, Chairman & Founder, Gilt.

Read the full letter