This page advised the Senate to pass the Assembly bill on mayoral control, and deal with amendments later (see below, July 17). There was no point in continuing Albany's all-nighters that accomplished nothing but sore feelings.
This breakthrough was welcome news, and occurred in New York City after a series of meetings with key Senate Democrats and Mayor Bloomberg's senior advisors. Unchanged is the composition and mayoral control over the Panel for Educational Policy, or the Chancellor's power to allot space sharing arrangements with charter schools. Credit belongs to new Senate Democratic Conference leader, John Sampson, a Brooklyn senator, and Sen. Bill Perkins who represents Harlem, who dropped other sought after provisions to weaken mayoral authority.
Tom Carroll, president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability, describes the deal in favorable terms in Saturday's New York Post (here).
Unmentioned in the initial coverage was much of a reaction from the state Assembly on the changes, or "chapter amendments" to its bill demanded by the Senate as the price for resuming mayoral control.
Assembly Speaker: Not So Fast
Now comes word that Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, refuses to endorse the changes sought by the Senate affecting mayoral control. The Post today reports that Silver is not on board and is not committing to anything, at least not yet. What's clear from the Senate bill negotiators is that if the Assembly balks, the whole deal sinks.
Seems the changes from the Senate are benign, and can be adopted by the Assembly in due course. It's only natural and wise for Speaker Silver to say little at this point, which avoids getting ahead of his fellow Assembly members.
The only safe bet now is to wait for both houses to reconvene, and act on the whole package, one way or the other. I still think mayoral control will turn out correctly in the end, but with all the twists and turns on this issue, we should wait for the ink to dry.
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