DOE chief David Banks pleads for control of NYC mayor in 11th hour

Chancellor David Banks wants you to know that if mayoral control is expanded, he will not be like other school bosses.

Banks pitched at an eleventh-hour Legislative Breakfast on Friday for a measure that would allow for the expansion of mayoral control over the city’s public schools, promising his approach would include parental voices in decision-making.

“Mayoral control is what is written in the legislature, but nobody wants to be ‘controlled,'” Banks told key lawmakers, including State Senator John Liu, who chairs the New York City Education Committee, and attending parent representatives.

Banks lobbied this week with Mayor Eric Adams and a team of Albany City Hall staffers for the extension as the measure is due to expire next month.

“We heard different stories and anecdotes from so many lawmakers,” he said of the trip. “But it always came down to the same thing — a lack of communication, a lack of respect, not having a voice, not having a seat at the table.”

That kind of parental involvement was a sticking point for some lawmakers and advocates during negotiations, The Post reported. Proposals are still on the table in the hinterland to add a stronger parent representation to the city’s pseudo-school board, the body for educational policy (PEP).

State Senator John Liu
State Senator John Liu said he is working to get “some parental voices” into the Department of Education.
Hans Penink

The banks promised to involve parents through groups like the Citywide Council on High Schools, which hosted the event, and the parent-led Community Education Councils in each district — and not make their own decisions, “and then people ask the parents to come in and stand with them as a photo op,” he said.

“I can say I’m the chancellor, and I can walk around like I’m all that – but you can only move the system around, but so much if you think it’s about a man, a person, a mayor. “

Liu, who is leading the negotiations alongside other lawmakers, told The Post that the majority of members of the PEP should still be Adams officers, but he wants to give parents a “much more meaningful” mechanism for input and response from the Ministry of Education.

Mayor Eric Adams greets 5th graders.
Mayor Eric Adams admitted in a news conference that he has “no power over” Albany’s final decision on mayoral control.
Robert Mueller

“There were some parents’ voices that weren’t heard,” Liu said.

Adams, too, chimed in at an independent news conference in Brooklyn on Friday, saying he must “govern the city based on what comes out of Albany.”

“You make a decision. I have no power over what their final decision is,” he said. “I was up there. We presented, I took my team there. We sold a good product.”

Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan DOE chief David Banks pleads for control of NYC mayor in 11th hour


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