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Partnership for New York City Calls on State Lawmakers to Address Mayoral Control, Charter Schools and Design-Build Legislation

City’s Business Leaders Demand Action on Education Policies and Procurement before Legislative Session Wraps in June

NEW YORK, MAY 16, 2017 – The  Partnership for New York City, which represents the city’s largest private sector employers, investors and leading entrepreneurs, called on the New York State Legislature to permanently extend mayoral control, lift the charter school cap and grant design-build contracting authority to New York City agencies before this legislative session concludes.

Mayoral control has restored the confidence of employers in the city’s K-12 public education system. Since mayoral control was first enacted in 2002, high school graduation rates have climbed to nearly 70 percent, from approximately 46 percent in 2005. There has also been a substantial reduction in the gap between city students and the rest of the state on other key performance metrics, including math and English proficiency, as well as average SAT scores.

Charter schools continue to provide a quality education option for students from school districts with high concentrations of poverty. If the current caps are not lifted, many New York City charters will have to turn away thousands of students. According to recent data, charter school students, 92 percent of whom are black and Hispanic, have achieved the highest English and math proficiency rates across several age groups.

“The highest priority of Partnership members, who employ more than a million New Yorkers, is an outstanding public education system that prepares students for jobs in the global economy,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “We urge lawmakers to support permanent extension of mayoral control and to lift the charter school cap. Both measures contribute to expanded opportunities for the city’s public school students.”

Lawmakers must also move quickly before the end of the legislative session to modernize project procurement and delivery in New York City. Design-build is a contracting tool that has been adopted in 41 states. It allows public agencies to save money and time, while transferring construction risk to the private sector.“The city projects a savings of about $450 million on a pipeline of important projects,” said Kathryn Wylde. “Design-build allows public agencies to stretch their funds further and accomplish major projects with fewer delays and cost overruns.”

See the Partnership’s legislative memo