The End Mayoral Control Coalition supports Barron’s education bill
This bill is an essential first step toward transparently investigating why a 13-year policy of mayoral control has failed to improve the quality of New York City public school education for all students. The commission will show that mayoral control has produced gross racial and class inequities among our public schools in shockingly gross proportions. Also, the commission will recommend the abolition of the current undemocratic mayoral control law and authorize an open exploration for a law that mandates a democratic parent-student-teacher system of school governance.
From our experience, we charge that exclusive mayoral control through a personally handpicked chancellor must be fully exposed for the incompetency it has continually demonstrated. It has mis-educated millions of our students, especially children of color, ELL, immigrant and special-needs students.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has mobilized 45 nonprofit “community” and social service organizations to support his efforts to bring permanent mayoral control to our 1.2 million school-age children. These organizations are desperate for funding and naively hope their endorsement of the mayor’s plan will bring in the needed funds to keep them afloat. They have misread de Blasio as a liberal progressive because of slick PR work. But the real de Blasio is continuing the Bloomberg-Giuliani policies of giving the Wall Streeters and luxury condo developers what they want: a direct political say in defining public education while at the same time syphoning off tens of billions of public school monies in the name of “charter” schools and no-bid contracts.
We understand that mayoral control is (1) undermining the quality of the future of our children by eliminating the child-centered institutions of learning and promoting the racist-fueled and profit-centered privatized policies and structures of “education” institutions; (2) stripping decision-making power from parents, educators, students and community and giving power over to the mayor’s office, his corporate allies, state legislators and the governor; and (3) infringing on the human rights of the students and parents of New York City public schools.
David Dobosz, a retired teacher from Brownsville’s District 23 and a member of the Independent Commission for Public Education, notes, “Public schools in heavily ‘charter schooled’ neighborhoods have become seriously under-resourced buildings that concentrate ever-increasing numbers of high-needs children in over-crowded classes that simply cannot be serviced effectively by a downsized staff and developmentally inappropriate standardized tests. The mayor owns problems like these because only he, not the parents nor the students, teachers or the community, has any real decision-making power to substantially change the numerous adverse in-school circumstances that negatively affect children. These adverse circumstances have only worsened over the years, and we refuse to allow this any longer.”
Brooklyn parent activist and co-chair of the Coalition for Public Education Muba Yarofulani asserts, “The sun setting of mayoral control is this month. As a parent of a child attending a New York City public school, I will fight to see a commission put into place to investigate this 13-year-old failed educational system, which has squandered tens of billions of dollars, and instead, transform it into a democratic people’s Board of Education.”
Instead of continuing mayoral control for any length of time, we must advocate for and fight for the creation of an education system based on human rights that includes democratic participation, equity, nondiscrimination and the full rich human development of us all—a democratic people’s Board of Education. The commission bill Barron has submitted can definitely help us start this democratic process in which parents, teachers, students and community are engaged in creating educational excellence for our children and adults desiring to further their education.
The End Mayoral Control Coalition is supported by many grassroots organizations, chiefly the Coalition for Public Education, the Independent Commission on Public Education, Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence, S.E.E.D.S.(seedswork.org) and others. Each of these organizations advocates for a democratic governance of public education at the community level to provide equal educational opportunity for all students.
For more information, visit www.forpubliced.org and www.forpubliced.blogspot.com.
BILL NO A07924 SAME AS No same as SPONSOR Barron COSPNSR Walker MLTSPNSR Establishes a task force on school governance to research and propose a new structure for school governance in a city with a population of one million or more; requires the task force's proposal go into effect on September 1, 2016 ending mayoral control.
S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K ________________________________________________________________________ 7924 2015-2016 Regular Sessions I N A S S E M B L Y June 1, 2015 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. BARRON -- read once and referred to the Committee on Education AN ACT to establish a task force on school governance to research and propose a new system for school governance in a city with a population of one million or more; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: 1 Section 1. 1. A task force on school governance is hereby established 2 to research and propose a new system for school governance in a city 3 with a population of one million or more. Such task force shall be 4 composed of sixteen members of whom one member shall be appointed by the 5 governor, one member shall be appointed by the temporary president of 6 the senate, one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the 7 senate, one member shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly, 8 one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the assembly, 9 one member shall be appointed by New York State United Teachers, one 10 member shall be appointed by the United Federation of Teachers, one 11 member shall be appointed by District Council 37, one member shall be 12 appointed by the council of school supervisors and administrators, five 13 members shall be appointed by the Chancellor's Parent Advisory Council 14 and two members shall be appointed by the state department of education. 15 Of the members appointed by the department of education, both shall be 16 student representatives from Student Leadership Teams; one such member 17 shall be appointed from a high-performing school and the other such 18 member shall be appointed from a low-performing school. The chair of the 19 task force shall be elected by a majority vote of the task force 20 members. The members of the task force shall each have demonstrated 21 experience or expertise in school governance and/or have an impact on 22 their schools and communities. EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10830-04-5 A. 7924 2 1 2. The task force shall research, examine and evaluate potential 2 school governance models and shall propose a new system for school 3 governance in a city with a population of one million or more. The 4 commission is charged with the following tasks: assess the strengths and 5 weaknesses of the current educational system; create a strategic plan 6 and develop a mission, goals and policies to redesign the system and its 7 governance structure to guarantee every child's human right to educa- 8 tion; include the public in a democratic process to reach consensus 9 about a redesigned system that the legislature enacts into law. 10 S 2. The members of the task force shall receive no compensation for 11 their services, but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses 12 incurred in the performance of their duties pursuant to this act, 13 provided that the task force shall be authorized to conduct meetings in 14 a manner that minimizes travel and costs. 15 S 3. The task force shall submit, within twelve months of the effec- 16 tive date of this act, a final report of its proposal for a new system 17 for school governance in a city with a population of one million or more 18 to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of 19 the assembly and the chairs of the education committees in the assembly 20 and senate. The report shall include such legislative proposals as the 21 task force deems necessary to implement its new system for school gover- 22 nance. Such proposal for a new system for school governance in a city 23 with a population of one million or more shall go into effect on Septem- 24 ber 1, 2016. Mayoral control pursuant to article 52-A of the education 25 law shall expire on September 1, 2016. 26 S 4. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that sections 27 one and two of this act shall expire and be deemed repealed September 1, 28 2016.