Assemblyman Challenges Mayor’s Ed Panel Rights


The Mayor is saying that the city job cuts he will propose at noon will spare teachers, along with firemen and cops. He could use some goodwill among the educators: the Post reports assemblyman James Brennan is bringing a bill that would scale back Bloomberg’s control of the schools, which he won in 2002. The Mayor now gets to appoint eight of the 13 members of the Panel on Educational Policy, the powerful oversight board whose standing with parents was questioned recently by the Times. Brennan’s bill would create a separate panel to pre-nominate names from which Bloomberg would have to pick. Also, while the Mayor currently enjoys the right to fire these appointees at will, Brennan’s bill would assign them fixed terms.

The Post story, as we might expect from an organ traditionally supportive of the Mayor, portrays this as a “Bid to Handcuff Mayor Over Schools” and quotes only opponents (“I just think it would be a tragedy if we backed away from mayoral control”). They could easily have found less negative sources. Brennan, representing Brooklyn, has a keen interest in education policy and has issued a report suggesting further reforms.