By Patrick Donachie
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 budget for education includes a call for Mayor Bill de Blasio to retain mayoral control over New York City’s schools for the next three years.
The acknowledgement was included in Cuomo’s 2018 Executive Budget, which includes a $1 billion increase in education aid throughout the state. Total state and local spending levels exceed $60 billion, according to the budget, and education remains the largest portion of state spending.
Cuomo also proposed a three-year extension of mayoral control last year, though de Blasio only got a one-year extension in 2016 for the second year in a row. Mayoral control, which places greater accountability for the city’s public schools on the mayor, was initiated in 2002 under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The Legislature initially granted Bloomberg seven years of control, with a six-year extension in 2009.
De Blasio wanted a seven-year extension in 2015, but only got one year from the Legislature and the process repeated itself in 2016. The decision means there will be another protracted struggle between the mayor and the Legislature as to who should control city schools this year.
Cuomo’s budget also increased support “for new expanding charter schools located in privately leased space in New York City,” which has been a point of contention between the de Blasio administration and charter school administrators and advocates like Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona