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State blows deadline to hand over critical study on mayoral control of NYC public schools

Kathy Hochul, John Liu, and Madeline Weinstein at an event, with a woman smiling at a microphone
Kathy Hochul, John Liu, and Madeline Weinstein at an event, with a woman smiling at a microphone

The dog ate their homework?

The state Education Department has blown past a deadline to release a critical report assessing the effectiveness of mayoral control over New York City schools.

State lawmakers had said they were awaiting the results of the report — due March 31 — as they weighed whether to grant Mayor Eric Adams an extension allowing him to retain oversight of city public schools.

Lawmakers have effectively declared dead Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams’ ask for a four-year extension of mayoral control to be included in the state budget, Robert Miller
Lawmakers have effectively declared dead Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams’ ask for a four-year extension of mayoral control to be included in the state budget, Robert Miller

“The Department will release its report on mayoral control of New York City schools early next week,” an SED spokesperson told The Post in a statement Monday, while declining to go into specifics about what caused the delay.

State Sen. John Liu (D-Queens), the chair of the state Senate Education Committee and an opponent of mayoral control, claimed lawmakers “always expected” the report to be released in April.

“I would be very surprised if it was anything more than a few finishing touches being put on everything,” state Assembly Education Committee Chairman Michael Benedetto added.

SED claims it was given an extension by the legislature, but Benedetto says he wasn’t made aware of one.

The March 31 deadline had already been pushed back once from Dec. 31, 2023 because the legislature failed to allocate cash for the study.

Lawmakers have effectively declared dead Gov. Kathy Hochul and Adams’ ask for a four-year extension of mayoral control to be included in the state budget, with the delayed report putting another nail in that coffin.

The legislature could still pass an extension of mayoral control outside the budget before it expires June 30, which is what lawmakers did in 2022.

“We always expected it in April,” the state Senate’s lead lawmaker on New York City Schools, state Sen. John Liu (D-Queens) wrote in a statement to The Post without any explanation. Matthew McDermott
“We always expected it in April,” the state Senate’s lead lawmaker on New York City Schools, state Sen. John Liu (D-Queens) wrote in a statement to The Post without any explanation. Matthew McDermott

“I think the legislature looks upon mayoral control, school governance, as being the privilege of the legislature to act on and would not like it put into the budget,” Benedetto (D-Bronx) said.

“I think everybody is looking–maybe looking forward is the wrong word–to an interesting and rather opinionated debate over the next couple of months as we discuss keeping control, doing away with, making changes to [mayoral control], all those options,” he added.

The powerful United Federation of Teachers, the union primarily representing Big Apple educators, has been pushing Albany not to extend mayoral control – bashing Adams for making budget cuts to schools and not laying out a plan to comply with new state laws mandating smaller class sizes.

An UFT spokesperson didn’t return a request for comment Monday.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto said he’s not concerned that the study on mayoral control is late. Robert Miller
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto said he’s not concerned that the study on mayoral control is late. Robert Miller

StudentsFirstNY, an Adams-aligned pro-charter schools group, released a report last week harping on the corruption and dysfunction of city schools before mayoral control.

“Deadlines come and go, but facts never change: the School Board era in New York City was a massive policy failure, and families in our city cannot afford to go back,” Crystal McQueen-Taylor, Executive Director of StudentsFirstNY, wrote to the Post in a statement.

“Whenever they issue it, SED’s report should honestly reckon with mayoral accountability’s record of more resources and better governance. Albany should remember their history lessons and extend it now,” she continued.

Taxpayers will end up footing as much as $250,000 for the SED study, according to public records.