ALBANY — The head of a breakaway group of five Senate Democrats wants to extend by five years the law authorizing mayoral control over the New York City school system, with some key changes, the Daily News has learned.
"I believe in mayoral control," Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) told The News. "Something as important as education, the mayor should be the deciding factor. But I think this plan is a way to make some changes that ensures mayoral control continues."
Perhaps the most controversial proposal would require the mayor for the first time to appoint a parent of a charter school student to the advisory Panel for Educational Policy.
Under the current law, which expires next month, the mayor has eight appointees to the 13-member panel — at least two of which are required to be parents with children in a New York City public school.
Klein says requiring another appointee to be a charter school parent — a move sure to be opposed by Mayor de Blasio and some of his fellow legislative Democrats — would be an acknowledgment of the movement's place in the city's education fabric.
"This will ensure that the concerns of this growing population of school children will be heard at the PEP," a memo outlining Klein's proposed legislation says.
I suspect any extension of mayoral control will be tied to an increase in the charter cap as well.
This is assuming anything gets done in Albany in the next six weeks.
With Senate Majority Leader Skelos yet to step down, with the fight still on to see who replaces him and with the feds still wiretapping a whole swath of Albany, nothing's a done deal these days.
Not to mention that mobbed-up Jeff Klein himself could get carted away by the feds.