Mayor Eric Adams is making his pitch asking lawmakers to grant him control over New York City schools before it expires at the end of June.
Privately, some fellow Democrats have griped over Adams’ absence in the halls of the state Capitol as he seeks a four-year extension of mayoral control, according to people familiar with the internal discussions.
Now, he’s promising to visit state legislators “in the next few weeks” to plead the case on why his administration should continue to oversee the city’s school system.
Adams had to cancel a rally planned for last week to drum up support for what’s the first-term mayor is calling “mayoral accountability” after a flight cancellation following a campaign-funded jaunt in Los Angeles, and weather criticism that he’s getting distracted as his administration tries to secure a key win.
He held that rescheduled rally on the steps of City Hall Monday morning, with schools Chancellor David Banks.
“The chancellor and I have laid out a bold new vision for our children and for the families that attend our public school system,” Adams said.
“This is the first time in history where we have two men who grew up in the public school system with two different experiences — one dealing with a learning disability, another dealing with the Gifted and Talented program.”
Lawmakers will likely extend mayoral control, but may not give Adams exactly what he’s asking for. They are discussing some tweaks, including a one-year extension, a way for families to get involved in key decisions or coupling mayoral control with a study of its accomplishments in the two decades since its been implemented — something the principals union has been seeking.
“The likely outcome will be a system in which the mayor still has control, and therefore, we can hold him accountable for school success or failure, but a system that also provides a meaningful mechanism to bolster parental input,” said Queens Democratic Sen. John Liu, who chairs the Senate’s committee on New York City education.
“That is the main issue — that parents feel they have no way to engage, that their suggestions and complaints aren’t even heard.”