Mayor de Blasio is belatedly predicting doom if the Legislature lets mayoral control of the schools lapse. So why won’t he back a compromise that saves it and harms no one?
The law expires June 30 unless lawmakers renew it by Wednesday’s end of session. And the Assembly, at the behest of de Blasio and the teachers unions, refuses to back any of three Senate-passed bills to extend it.
If mayoral control goes, de Blasio warned Monday, “We would have to reconstitute the old Board of Education,” with no one person naming a majority of its seven members, and no one voters could hold to account.
“This is the great unknown,” he insists, leading to “chaos” and “corruption.”
In fact, mayoral control lapsed once before, but then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg was able to find a deal that restored it. So why won’t this mayor push the Assembly to compromise and back a Senate bill?
After all, de Blasio is on record as not opposing charter schools, which the Senate bills boost by allowing more charter growth here in the city. In 2014, he warned against “pitting” charters against the regular public-school system.
And last year, he told a student to see beyond the (widespread) perception that he’s anti-charter: “It’s not shocking that in politics things get distilled down to a sentence,” he said. But there’s a “much richer” story of “working together.”
“Working together” for the good of both systems is all the Senate’s looking to do. If he truly doesn’t oppose charters, it wouldn’t even be a concession. Was the mayor lying to a schoolchild?
As for de Blasio’s claim that renewal should be a “pure” bill . . . Well, that’s remarkably naive for a fellow who not long ago was trading access to City Hall favors for campaign donations to produce a Senate more to his liking.
Would he rather lose control of the schools than face down the teachers union, which hates charters?
The union will be fine if mayoral control lapses…