By Igor Baboshkin
May 18, 2016
CASTORINA AND MALLIOTAKIS VOTE AGAINST
BLANKET EXTENSION OF MAYORAL CONTROL OF SCHOOLS
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island
Staten Island, NY: New York State Assemblyman Ron Castorina, Jr. (R,C,I,Ref-South Shore), along with Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island), cast votes yesterday in opposition of Assembly bill A.7508, a blanket extension of Mayor de Blasio's control of New York City schools for another three years. Concerns from legislators on both sides of the aisle have centered on the lack of representation and transparency on the Panel for Educational Policy, the governing body on education in NYC that consists of solely city-appointed picks, as well as a lack of input from the community on matters of budget and policy.
Assemblyman Castorina said in a statement following the vote: "Although I agree with the organizational concept of mayoral control, I cannot support a bill that gives Mayor de Blasio absolute control with no checks and balances. No chief executive should have total control of the public's schools. No chief executive should be able to ignore the views of public school parents. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it is our job as legislators to improve the system, rather than to hold our noses and vote for the status quo."
Assemblywoman Malliotakis said: "While I support the concept of mayoral control, we should not be moving forward with a mere extension of the status quo. Right now, the Chancellor is not required to be an educator, the Panel on Education Policy is not required to be made up of parents and educators, and there is little to no transparency or scrutiny of the city's $24 billion education budget. I will continue to advocate for significant improvements to the education system for our 1.1 million schoolchildren deserve."
The Assembly passed A.7508 by a vote of 89-43. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it is almost certain to face a much tougher path to passage. A Senate hearing on the proposal was held earlier this month, and a second one is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, May 19.