NYC Mayoral Control Of Schools Tops Issue As Lawmakers Return

ALBANY (AP) -

Lawmakers returned to Albany on Monday to decide whether to continue granting Mayor Bill de Blasio control of New York City schools as they wrap up their annual session.

The state law giving de Blasio control will expire this year unless lawmakers vote — again — to renew it. An extension is expected, but not without what has become an annual back-and-forth between the Democratic mayor and his Republican adversaries in the state Senate.

Democrats in the Assembly support a multi-year extension but the Republicans in the Senate have blocked proposals in the past. Instead, lawmakers have voted to continue mayoral control of schools for only a single year in each of the last two years.

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan wrote to de Blasio last week seeking greater details about school spending and operations before another extension can be authorized.

“As there are three weeks remaining in the legislative session to consider extending the statute, I am no longer requesting, but am demanding, that you comply…” Flanagan wrote the mayor. “This is your opportunity to prove that the billions of dollars are not being misspent and mismanaged.”

Mayoral control was implemented at the behest of ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg.