Tuesday, April 16, 2024

UFT Bits - Backdoor (sellout) deal on mayoral control?

Always watch what the UFT does, not what it says -- Fiddling with the PEP Will NOT do it  --- The wisdom of Norm

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Time to End it and Adams' incompetence may be a magic bullet: Mayor attacks on NYSED Mayoral control report

This recent Ed Notes headline was too optimistic. The absolute incompetence of the Adams/Banks school administration apparently will not be enough to kill mayoral control. And the UFT, a key player, will whine about how bad they are but will not do anything to make it better for its members.
I've always maintained that the UFT/Unity crowd will never let Mayoral control lapse no matter their rhetoric about how bad the school system has been run over the past two decades. They don't really care how bad mayors perform - they care about their own power and the ability to negotiate with one administration rather then disperse power into the hands of groups they feel they cannot control, which they perceive as a threat to their hegemony -- that includes dispersing power to rank and file teachers at the school level. UFT/Unity doesn't want to empower their own members -- they want to control the members.
So, in recent months we heard Mulgrew criticize mayoral control and ask for changes - which I call tweaks, rather than a distribution of power. Then Monday we hear there is a deal of sorts where Adams would keep control if he would implement the class size law he has refused to implement so far.

This reminds me of those vigilantes who hold your computers ransom until you pay.

There can only be a deal if the UFT is somehow involved and watch them declare victory.

From the Chalkbeat article:
For months, lawmakers have argued the future of the city’s polarizing school governance structure should be determined outside of the budget process. But during last-minute negotiations on the two-weeks-late budget, the possibility of extending mayoral control reentered discussions.
Leonie speaks: no backdoor deal on mayoral control!

Last week the State Education Department released an excellent report, summarizing the public testimony at the borough hearings and in writing on Mayoral control, and analyzing our NYC school governance system compared to others across the country. The report contained recommendations about how the system should be changed, by giving more voice to parents and other stakeholders, revamping the composition of the Panel for Educational Policy, and establishing a Commission to propose more fundamental changes.

Then this afternoon, there was a lot of chatter on Twitter and elsewhere that a deal was imminent to give Adams two more years of mayoral control in the budget, in exchange for some minor tweaks and concessions (?) on class size. Yet soon after, Governor Hochul held a press conference and said no deal on Mayoral control has yet been finalized.

So it's urgent: please send a message to your Legislators tonight; urge them to provide more checks and balances, transparency and parent voice in the running of our schools - because twenty years of Mayoral control has NOT worked for NYC students. If you're not convinced, check out our point by point rebuttal of DOE talking points put out over the weekend; and an explanation of how the system has failed in terms of real accountability here.

But please send an email to your legislators tonight -- before its too late.

And share this message with others who care.

thanks, Leonie

Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters

 Another news report:

Mayoral control of NYC schools is back from the dead in state budget talks, key lawmaker says - Gothamist


State lawmakers are discussing a possible short-term extension of mayoral control of New York City's school system, though it would come with significant strings attached, according to a key lawmaker in Albany.

State Sen. John Liu, a Queens Democrat who chairs the New York City education committee of the State Senate, confirmed on Monday that mayoral control is back on the table in ongoing discussions on New York's next budget. Mayoral control is currently due to expire at the end of June, despite Mayor Eric Adams' opposition to it lapsing.

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently raised the issue again in budget talks, two weeks after legislative leaders all but declared it dead as part of the state's spending plan, Liu told Gothamist. But he suggested that, if lawmakers agree to extend mayoral control of the city's schools, it would come with a mechanism to ensure the Adams administration complies with looming class-size restrictions, which state lawmakers approved the last time they extended mayoral control in 2022.

“The mayor wants accountability, and so we’re looking for ways to make him accountable,” Liu said. “The governor has brought up mayoral control in the negotiations, and we're looking at the issue.”

Adams and his schools chancellor David Banks have strongly advocated for an extension, arguing they should remain in charge of the city's schools because it’s the best way for them to be held accountable and impose order on the nation’s largest school system. But many educators and parents have called for change, saying the mayor is too far removed from the day-to-day reality of schools.

Hochul included a four-year extension of mayoral control in her $233 billion state budget proposal in January. But legislative leaders signaled by early April that it hadn’t been a serious part of budget negotiations.

Adams’ administration still kept pushing the issue, with Banks traveling to the state Capitol earlier this month to urge lawmakers to consider putting it in the spending plan. “We think we’ve done a great job in rebuilding trust with our families and our communities, and we’ve been delivering real results,” Banks said in Albany on April 2.

Asked a day later whether mayoral control would be in a final budget agreement, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat from Yonkers, flatly said “no.”

Now, Liu says any possible extension would include "substantial guarantees" for the city to follow through on the mandates of the state class-size law, a major goal of the United Federation of Teachers union and many New York City parents. Democratic lawmakers are expected to discuss the issue behind closed doors on Monday afternoon.

The law requires a significant reduction of class sizes in the city’s public schools over time. Adams argues the city cannot make those changes without more funding from the state.

When the law is fully implemented, kindergarten through third-grade classes will be capped at 20 students, fourth- through eighth-grade classes will be capped at 23 students, and high-school classes will be capped at 25 students. The city’s Independent Budget Office has estimated that almost 18,000 teachers would need to be hired to meet the mandate, at a cost of up to $1.9 billion per year.

New York City would also have to identify more space for the smaller classrooms. Reducing class sizes is generally popular with parents, but some say they worry about increased competition for certain schools and programs.

The latest talks on another extension of mayoral control come days after the state Education Department released a lengthy review recommending possible reforms. Legislators required the review as part of the 2022 extension of mayoral control, which was for two years.

The nearly 300-page report called for more opportunities for input from families and educators and stronger checks and balances around mayoral control. It noted that New York City currently gives the mayor more power over education than any other school district in the country.

Under that system, the mayor selects the schools chancellor and appoints a majority of members to the Panel for Educational Policy, an oversight board that votes on school-related contracts and other matters. The non-mayoral members are elected by parent councils or appointed by borough presidents, and some of them have said they feel powerless because the mayor appoints most of the panel.

The state Education Department's report did not ultimately offer clear recommendations on the fate of mayoral control. Instead, it called for a commission to further study the issue.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Albany continue to negotiate the finer points of the broader state budget, which is expected to total $235 billion once approved. It was due before the start of the state’s fiscal year on April 1, but the Gov. Hochul has struggled to reach consensus with lawmakers on a final deal. Lawmakers have approved four short-term budget extenders to keep the state’s payroll running.

As of Friday, the governor and legislative leaders were closing in on an agreement on the hotly contested issue of housing policy. If a housing deal is reached, that could clear the major remaining hurdle to a final budget. But tenant and landlord advocates aren’t pleased with the emerging deal.

The state Senate and Assembly’s Democratic majorities are expected to hold closed-door conferences on the final remaining issues on Monday afternoon and evening.


1 comment:

Roberta said...

It is always better to call your elected officials, rather than to write.
They can always delete an email. When you call, you use up ear time, and that means something