Don’t roll back the clock; make mayoral control permanent in New York city schools.
Before mayoral control, the school boards made all policy changes and fiscal decisions for our children. Decisions that were often made, did not address the needs of the 1.1 million school children or our communities as a whole. I worked in support services within the New York City schools system under school boards and with mayoral control. Under the old system, decisions were made to benefit personal politics and interests; there were no standards, expectations or policies, no central system of accountability.
Mayoral control, even under the previous administration, brought forth accountability and increased parental involvement. We understand that there is a lot of room for improvement once mayoral control gets renewed. With the passing of the legislation, we can continue to address issues that affect the students, staff and communities of our 1800 schools; such as collaboration between the schools and communities. My members and I would also like to address the need for additional support staff in public schools. Many schools, especially low performing schools lack resources and staffing. All schools must have our school aides, health aides, SAPIS counselors, paras, school crossing guards, school lunch and cafeteria staff as well as parent coordinators in order to help our children succeed. It does in fact take a village to raise a child. Our Local 372 support staff allows teachers to teach and principals to lead the schools.
On behalf of the 23,000 Department of Education Employees and NYPD School Crossing Guards I represent, I ask the legislature to make mayoral control permanent.
Shaun D. Francois I
President of Local 372