Unions, Eric Adams rally for mayoral control of NYC public schools

Mayor Eric Adams renewed his push for extending mayoral control of New York City public schools Monday during a rally with some union leaders.

“After two years of trauma to our students, uncertainty cannot be part of the curriculum,” Adams said on the City Hall steps.

“There needs to be stability and the certainty that these young people are going to know what is going to happen in the upcoming school year.”

Since taking office, Adams has called for Albany to extent the power and grant him “mayoral accountability” over Big Apple public education.

The mayor was joined Monday by Schools Chancellor David Banks and some union reps — though the United Federation of Teachers was noticeably absent.

A spokesperson for the union, which represents city public school teachers, told The Post that, “While we support mayoral control, we have also repeatedly called for more checks and balances and greater parental voice.”

Adams and his backers pointed to successes under mayoral control, from universal pre-K to increased graduation rates — and issued warnings about the alternative of returning to decentralized school boards.

Mayor Eric Adams called for more mayoral control over New York City public schools in a Monday rally on City Hall’s steps.
NYC Mayor’s Office

“I remember the system the way it was, and it was a system that was rot with political corruption,” Banks said at the rally. “It is the reason why we went to mayoral accountability — the old system did not work.”

Some education leaders have been slow to back a renewal of mayoral control in its current form, calling for changes that would go further to share decision-making.

Lawmakers have told The Post that several options are on the table to tweak the current approach. They include a multi-year or shorter extension of mayoral control, or changing the makeup or rules of the Panel for Educational Policy to give it more autonomy to respond to the mayor.

Students at Stuyvesant High School leave after classes end for the week, March 13, 2020, in New York.
Adams argued mayoral control would ensure “stability and the surety that these young people are going to know what is going to happen in the upcoming school year.”
AP/Bebeto Matthews

Two Adams administration directives have so far failed before the 15-member panel, despite the elder choosing nine of the appointees. One of the slots has sat vacant since an Adams pick with a history of anti-LGBT writings resigned in March. The city is in the process of reviewing candidates.

“We want to get it right,” Adams said Monday. “We are excited about some of the candidates that are in the queue,” adding the chancellor could make an announcement in the next few days.

The rally was postponed from last week when Adams missed the previously scheduled event while on a campaign-funded trip to Los Angeles.

The mayor was also expected to travel to Albany this week to push for mayoral control, but told reporters the trip would now happen within the next few weeks instead.

“It’s just about scheduling. We would love to get up there as soon as possible,” he said.

The state legislature’s session ends in June when the mayoral control law also lapses.

Still, Hizzoner remained confident about the future of the measure, which has Gov. Kathy Hochul’s vocal support. Hochul tried to include it in the state budget, but it was left out of the $220 billion final version last month.

“We believe that lawmakers are on our side, we believe the union leadership is on our side, we believe the parents are on our side,” Adams said. “And every time we walk into a school and the children say give Eric and David mayoral accountability, we believe the children are on our side.”


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