The bill by state Sen. Brian Benjamin, a Democrat, would weaken mayoral control over the schools by requiring majority support from the state senator, Assembly member, congressional representative, borough president and City Council member representing a district targeted for “proposed school closings or significant changes in school utilization.”
Currently, the citywide Panel for Educational Policy — controlled by the mayor and his appointed schools chancellor — have the only say.
“I support mayoral control by and large without question, but I think some decisions you really need to have some local input involved,” Benjamin said.
The senator has been fighting a city plan to close the middle school at Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing Visual Arts in Harlem and focus only on the high school grades.
“This is the only middle school in Harlem that has a concentration on the arts,” Benjamin said. “If you take that out, there is no longer that opportunity.”
While supporters of mayoral control over the schools say it is designed to make one person accountable, Benjamin said that’s not always the case, noting de Blasio, because of term limits, is a lame duck for the next four years.