Monday, May 6, 2024

ECC Statement Condemning the Undemocratic State Budget Process That Used Mayoral Control as a Political Bargaining Chip

 To see if there's a way forward on this very critical issue, despite the Governor's insistence on cramming a two-year extension of Mayoral control into the state budget, join us for our Parent Action Conference on Saturday May 11 at 10:30 AM-- more info here.

ECC Statement Condemning the Undemocratic State Budget Process That Used Mayoral Control as a Political Bargaining Chip

April 25, 2024

New York State’s 2024-25 budget shows an utter disregard of parents, students, educators and advocates in New York City. When Governor Hochul made school governance into a political bargaining chip by including a 4-year extension of mayoral control in her Executive Budget in January, she knew well that the state legislature mandated report on school governance in New York City, which she called for, was due to be released near the end of March. 

After first agreeing to remove mayoral control from the budget, the governor put it back in the eleventh hour to use mayoral control for horse trading. The final budget agreed upon by the Governor, Majority Leader and Speaker includes a 2-year extension and some superficial changes to the Panel for Educational Policy.  It is as if the report by the Commissioner of the NYS Education Department never existed. 

We condemn this disregard for parents, students, educators and advocates, many of whom made clear in public testimony recorded in NYSED’s report, that we do not want mayoral control. We condemn the Governor’s hypocrisy in her statement, “governance mechanism that’s been in place for many, many years will not be politicized,” when she is the one who politicized it by using it to horse trade in the budget. 

While we recognize the Majority Leader and Speaker fought to keep mayoral control out of the budget, we are disappointed that they conceded in the end and seemingly listened only to the Mayor and the union leadership, neglecting the voices of the parents, students, educators and advocates. 

Mayoral control needed to be debated separately from the state budget. It should never be used as a pawn in budget negotiations, particularly in a year when a comprehensive report assessing the effectiveness of mayoral control was released. The Governor and the legislature are forcing children of NYC public schools to suffer a dysfunctional and grossly inequitable system for two more years without any future possibilities for a new governance system. 

We thank the legislators in both houses who advocated until the last moment on behalf of parents, students, educators and advocates. We will continue to fight for a democratic school governance system in New York City. 

Education Council Consortium Board of Directors

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