2016-06-15 / Editorials

In Support Of Mayoral Control Of City Schools


I served as Speaker of the NYC Council for 16 years, and together with Mayors Koch, Dinkins, and Giuliani, tried unsuccessfully to regain of control of our own city children in our own city schools. I also ran for Governor of this Empire State of ours and traveled to remote cities like Plattsburg – literally only a few miles from Canada, where they knew as much about how to run our schools as we do about theirs.

In the 27 years I served as a local member of the Council, it was truly frustrating to have to go to Albany and beg for money from State legislators from similarly far away places in our huge state, many of whom believe – and still are convinced, that we were responsible for their money woes and problems – forgetting completely that New York City supplies billions of dollars of our own money to them, far more than what we received back. It was further impossible for them to understand why it cost billions more for us to run a system serving more than a million children, than for them to run their entire school system serving a few thousand at a cost of only a few million. “Waste and inefficiency” they claimed, adding to our frustration.

Thank God Mayor Bloomberg was able to overcome this absurdity by successfully regaining control of our children’s schools. Unfortunately, politics rather than good governance is sadly reemerging; the effort to deny Mayor Bill de Blasio the ability to continue his predecessor’s progress is both wrongheaded and spiteful.

It is time for elected officials to forget their political affiliations and remember why they were elected – i.e. to represent all the people – and pledge themselves to serve the people, not their parties. I urge all City residents to contact their respective State legislators to support Mayor de Blasio’s simple demand to do the right thing for all of our children.

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