Deal Will Give New York City Mayor Two-Year Extension on Mayoral Control
The New York state assembly approved a measure that could give New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio two years in control of the city's schools.
The proposal was approved early Thursday during a special session called by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It was part of a larger set of legislation that included tax measures, flood aid, and naming a bridge after Cuomo's father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, according to the New York Times.
The deal is not done, and has to be approved by the state Senate. That could happen later on Thursday, according to CBS. (UPDATE: The senate, by a 48-2 vote on Thursday, approved the measure, which included mayoral control, sales tax, and other items, according to the Associated Press.)
The mayoral control law was set to expire Friday, and lawmakers had ended their session without reaching an agreement on the measure, which impacts the education of more than 1 million students.
The legislature first gave control over the country's largest school system to Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002. Bloomberg got a six-year extension when the law expired in 2009.
But de Blasio, a Democrat, has had a harder time convincing the legislature to give him lengthy renewals: He has only gotten one-year extensions.
Both Republicans and Democrats had tied extending mayoral control to other issues. The Republicans wanted to lift the state's cap on charter schools in exchange for the extension, while Democrats added tax measures to their proposal.
De Blasio, who is up for re-election this year, had warned of chaos if the bill lapsed and the system of local community boards returned. He also cautioned it would cost the city about $1.6 billion over 10 years if it returned to the old system. But at least one observer told the New York Daily News that disaster was unlikely if the legislature did not approve an extension.
The law lapsed in the summer of 2009, without any lasting consequences.
Image: Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference addressing a state bill extending mayoral control of New York City schools on June 21, in New York. --Bebeto Matthews/AP