Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Update: Back to the Future: Education in NYC

The DoE (still not the "BoE") released the following press release:

NYC Department of Education
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2009
N-1, 2009-10

MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND NEW YORK CITY’S BOROUGH PRESIDENTS CONVENE EMERGENCY BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING AFTER STATE SENATE FAILS TO VOTE ON SCHOOL GOVERNANCE BILL Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York City’s Borough Presidents this morning convened an emergency Board of Education meeting. The meeting followed the New York State Senate’s failure to vote on school governance legislation before the existing statute expired Tuesday night. With thousands of students slated to begin summer school today, the Mayor and the Borough Presidents re-constituted a central School Board, comprised of two members appointed by the Mayor and one by each Borough President, according to State law. The Board moved to appoint Joel I. Klein as Chancellor, delegated full authority to Chancellor Klein to run the schools, including contracting authority, and passed a resolution urging the New York State Senate to adopt a bill modifying and extending Mayoral control of the schools.

The Board’s members include: First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris and Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler, appointed by Mayor Bloomberg; Dr. Dolores Fernandez, appointed by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.; Jimmy Yan, appointed by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis M. Walcott, appointed by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall; Deputy Borough President Edward Burke, appointed by Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro; and Carlo Scissura, appointed by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. All City employees on the Board will forgo compensation related to services on the Board.

The full text of the Board’s resolution urging the New York State Senate to vote on Senate Bill no. S5887, which would extend Mayoral control until June 30, 2015, is below.

The Board set the date of its next meeting as September 10, the first Thursday after Labor Day.

###

RESOLUTION URGING THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE TO
ACT IMMEDIATELY TO ADOPT S5887

WHEREAS, before the landmark Mayoral control legislation enacted in 2002, meaningful educational progress in New York City was stymied by a governance structure in which there were frequent political battles and no real accountability for results;

WHEREAS, under the governance structure enacted by Chapter 91 of the Laws of 2002 and Chapter 123 of the Laws of 2003, Mayoral control has brought stability and accountability to the New York City school system. Under Mayoral control, New York City children have made substantial progress, with rising test scores, declining dropout rates, and a narrowing of the achievement gap;

WHEREAS, the legislation adopted in 2002 and 2003 provided for a sunset date of June 30, 2009, whereupon provisions enabling Mayoral control would no longer be in effect and the form of governance which predated the reforms would be revived;

WHEREAS, the New York State Assembly has adopted Assembly Bill no. 8903-a, which would extend Mayoral control until June 30, 2015;

WHEREAS, identical legislation was introduced in the Senate as Senate Bill no. S5887, but the Senate did not vote on it in time to prevent the Mayoral control legislation from sunsetting; and

WHEREAS, the failure of the Senate to act in time to avoid sunset has created chaotic conditions in the City school district, where virtually every decision – from personnel decisions to policy decisions – could be subject to litigation and uncertainty;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education calls on the New York State Senate to take immediate action to enact S5887.
###

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