Posts Tagged 'Mayoral Control'

Why New Action opposes the recommendations to modify mayoral control

At Monday’s Executive Board the Committee on School Governance presented a set of School Governance Recommendations.

The committee worked hard on its recommendations. The individual proposals are positive.  But they are framed as modifications, as checks and balances on Mayoral Control.

One of the positive proposals deserves special mention. The UFT now stands for no waiver for the Chancellor. New Action’s David Kaufman made just such a proposal, well-reasoned, last time we had a governance report. And it was roundly, and wrongly, rejected. We wish that Dave were here today to see the union belatedly adopting his proposal.

New Action has opposed Mayoral Control. It has been a disaster for our schools, our students, our members. Last year we circulated petitions calling for an end of Mayoral Control. And we remain opposed to Mayoral Control. This year we declined to serve on the Governance Committee – the correct conclusion – ending Mayoral Control – was obvious.

Thus, at Monday’s Exec Board, we felt compelled to vote against otherwise positive recommendations, for not being part of an overall stance of ending Mayoral Control.

Our union, the UFT, should take the committee’s recommendations, and embed them in a proposal to end Mayoral Control. Then  New Action/UFT would proudly endorse them.

 

An Unfortunate Decade of Mayoral Mistakes

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the February 2013 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: NA/UFT 02/2013 leaflet

Year

New Action Recommends

Did we listen?

Result

2002 No to Mayoral Control No. First Mayoral Control bill gives Bloomberg unfettered control Countless Disruptive Reorganizations – managers (not educators)  dominate the DoE bureaucracy
2009 No Extension of Term Limits No, even though we could have stopped Bloomberg by swinging a handful of City Council votes The worst of Bloomberg’s terms
2009 Let Mayoral Control Sunset No. We put in “checks and balances” …. … but those “checks and balances“ did not limit the mayoral dictatorship
2009 No Waiver for Chancellors No Cathie Black
2009 Endorse Bill Thompson against Bloomberg No, we sit out the election Bloomberg squeaks by for four more years of school closings, abusive administrators,  and mountains of paperwork
2013 Remove Christine Quinn from consideration for our endorsement

???

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New Action challenges mayoral control

On Tuesday, January 22, New Action Co-chair Jonathan Halabi presented a resolution at the UFT Executive Board meeting calling on our union to get behind a bill to take absolute control over the PEP away from the Mayor Bloomberg. The bill introduced by Velmanette Montgomery and David Weprin would have severely reduced the number of appointees to half of the current level, effectively taking away the mayor’s power to close schools in the city. Halabi pointed out that the PEP has been a rubber stamp for the Mayor, and that this bill would potentially provide instant relief. In the meantime, our committee on school governance should continue to meet and work towards it recommendations.

While New Action/UFT has opposed mayoral control from the start and has recently initiated a petition drive against mayoral control, we considered this bill an important first step to that end. Three speakers on the UFT Executive Board rose to speak against supporting this important piece of legislation. They argued that the UFT has a committee on school governance and this proposal would second guess the committee’s work, that it wouldn’t give all the stakeholders a chance to weigh in, etc.

New Action speakers argued that we should not wait for the results of a committee report when we have a concrete bill that would make for a more democratic process if passed now.

The caucus-line vote was overwhelmingly against supporting the Montgomery/Weprin bill with only five New Action members present voting in support, as all of the Unity caucus members voted no. It is all the more surprising that at a publicized press conference called by Montgomery and Weprin the announcement said UFT representatives would be present.

New Action secured 2,200 signatures to end mayoral control on petitions this past spring. New Action is committed to work for an end to all vestiges of mayoral control—control which would never have come about without UFT support.


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Content of signed articles and comments represents the opinions of their authors. The views expressed in signed articles are not necessarily the views of New Action/UFT.
August 2020
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