Office of the Mayor
July 20, 2009
Dear Democratic Senate Leaders:
Let me first apologize for the salutatory, I would write to each of you if I could figure out who is the Democratic leadership …
You may be aware that the many stakeholders have spent a year discussing the renewal of the school governance law. The final Assembly bill was the result of these discussions, and, while all parties weren’t satisfied with all sections of the bill, it does include many of the ideas and suggestions of an incredibly wide range of voters.
The Senate chose to be aloof from these discussions.
In spite of the lengthy public debate, and, the fact that there are sufficient votes to pass the Assembly bill the “leadership” has refused to bring the bill to a vote. The “amendments” the Senate insists be added to the bill are inconsequential and inappropriate.
One Senator objects to police in schools, let her talk to the parents of children who were assaulted, robbed, intimidated and abused in school buildings.
Another Senator wants a council to encourage the teaching of the arts. State law requires the teaching of the arts.
A significant change in the Assembly bill requires that School Leadership Teams, the principal, parents and teachers, agree on the school Comprehensive Education Plan, and, if there are disagreements the Community Superintendent is required to intervene.
This change in the law empowers parents. The clique who have refused to pass this law clearly have no regard for parents.
While I have agreed to sign memoranda regarding these issues the “leadership,” at the last moment, demanded additional amendments.
I have decided that further discussions are futile.
The current governance, the pre-2002 law, is in effect. The Central Board has devolved total authority to the Chancellor. We have, in effect, mayor control, albeit without the input of parents and School Leadership Teams.
I realize that the Democrats on the Senate side are discouraged, the schools are no longer a patronage pie to be sliced up and converted to dollars and personal power, and, I also realize that the recalcitrance of the Senate has more to do with the mayoral election this November. Claims that Senators care about children is laughable … what you care is your own political power, i.e., the ability to dispense jobs, and the ability to distribute “member items,” dollars to your supporters, and, unfortunately, some of these dollars leak back to the Senators themselves.
I have to decided to fully support candidates who decide to run, in the 2010 primary and the general election, against the current incumbent members of the Senate, targeting the members who have been obstructionists.
Enjoy the summer … see you in September (primary) and November (general election) 2010.
Mayor of the City of New York