August 6, 2009
New York state senators resurrected mayoral control today, voting 47 against 8 to pass the legislation this afternoon.
According to the Daily News’ Liz Benjamin, debate over the bill lasted for two hours and turned personal when critics of mayoral control attacked the bill’s supporters, Sens. Daniel Squadron and Frank Padavan. The Senate also passed four amendments that will create a parent training center, an arts council, yearly school safety meetings, and expanded oversight of principals by superintendents.
Jimmy Vielkind at Politicker reports that the dissenting senators were Bill Perkins, Ruben Diaz Sr., Shirley Huntley, Kevin Parker, Velmanette Montgomery, Eric Adams, Carl Kruger, and Tom Duane. Perkins and Diaz also voted against all four amendments.
Standing on the Senate floor, Diaz forecast how tomorrow’s editorials would receive his vote. “You read it, tomorrow they’re going to call me a monkey, they’re going to call me a clown, they’re going to call me stupid. They’re going to call me all kinds of things,” he said.
The NY Post, which has been mayoral control’s biggest cheerleader, is reporting the news with an exclamation point in its lede.
“Mayor Bloomberg is still the undisputed educator-in-chief of New York City public schools!”
In a statement just sent out by Mayor Bloomberg’s office, the mayor thanked the two senators for sponsoring the bill. “With the governance question resolved, we can now move full steam ahead with efforts to ensure that this school year is marked by more great progress,” the statement said. Included in the list of people the mayor thanked is “Majority Leader Espada,” who is one half of the two-senator team that staged a Senate coup in early June and led to the mayoral control law’s sunset.
The state Senate also passed a resolution by a voice vote that will create a task force to oversee mayoral control. With a total of seven members — four Democratic senators and three Republicans — the subcomittee will have the power to hold hearings, issue subpoenas, and write reports.