Mayor de Blasio and former-rival Rudy Giuliani have recently teamed up to force state regulators to extending an expiring law that grants the mayor full power over the NYC school system.
The unusual duo signed a joint letter addressed to Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers, in which they asked that the law should be expanded without any changes.
In their letter, the two acknowledged that they often disagreed on various matters, but not on the mayoral control over NYC schools. They argued that keeping the mayor in control over the city school system would trigger “direct accountability,” which is absolutely essential for the development of NYC schools.
De Blasio and Giuliano also criticized the NY governor for his plans to allow the state to take charge over failing schools. They wrote that without mayoral control public schools will go back to the era of “blurred lines of accountability.”
They also argued that mayoral control resulted in better test scores, improved graduation and college readiness rates. So, for the sake of the children, the NYC school system should move forward.
The current law that grants the mayor full control over NYC schools was enacted in 2009, during Michael Bloomberg’s term, but is due to expire in June. Gov. Cuomo proposed a 3-year extension, while the Democrats want a 7-year extension. Yet, the Senate GOP, which is in very good terms with Giuliani, but at odds with de Blasio for trying to help the Democrats win the control of the chamber last year, says that it is too early to take a decision since the law will expire in months.
“Mayor de Blasio is presiding over a school system with 91 failing schools and now he wants permanent control of the City schools before he even sits down and explains his vision for education to the State Legislature,”
a spokesperson for the Senate GOP recently said.
The NY Senate GOP also announced that it would take a very close look at the current situation and act in the best interest of children and their parents.
However, both de Blasio and Giuliani insist that direct accountability of schools to parents and taxpayers triggered by mayoral control is the best way to ensure NYC public schools’ progress.
They also wrote in their letter that a mayor that have control over the public school system has free rein on issuing innovative policies and perform “vital changes”, which contribute to the empowerment of local communities. Still, Senate GOP leaders see the move as being political, rather than educational.
On the other hand, de Blasio’s and Giuliani’s partnership was shocking to many since people are rather accustomed with their public battles and sharp remarks toward one another. For instance, a few weeks ago, ex-mayor Giuliani said that President Obama didn’t love his country since he wasn’t brought up through the love of this country like Giuliani and older politicians were.
As a response, current NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said that such remarks were of very low quality even for Giuliani’s standards and described his speech as a “cheap political trick.”