NY Senate Chief: De Blasio Failed to Make Case on Schools

ALBANY (AP) -

In a rebuke to New York City’s mayor, state Senate Leader John Flanagan said Thursday that he continues to harbor doubts about extending a policy giving Bill de Blasio control of over city schools.

Saying that de Blasio failed to make his case at a Senate panel hearing Wednesday, Flanagan said the mayor “showed a disturbing lack of personal knowledge about the city schools” and “failed to provide specifics on many of the issues raised by my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”

“Until that occurs, I will not entrust this mayor with the awesome responsibility of operating the New York City school system,” he said in a statement Thursday.

De Blasio wants state lawmakers to extend mayoral control of city schools by another seven years. The policy, first implemented in 2002, will expire June 30 if it’s not renewed. Last year it renewed for only one year, forcing de Blasio to return to Albany on Wednesday to appear before the Senate Education Committee.

Flanagan said de Blasio has another chance to convince lawmakers when he speaks at a second hearing on the topic May 19 in New York City.