No return to Capitol for state lawmakers

Gov. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk), Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx, Westchester) were unable to hammer out a deal to give City Hall's authority over the five borough's school system before heading home late June 20.

Governor Cuomo says the state legislature fell down on the job by leaving town without passing an extension of mayoral control for the New York City schools, and he has not ruled out calling them back for a special session.

In 2002, Bloomberg worked with the state Legislature to grant the mayor control of city public education, making the mayor accountable for the school system's successes and failures.

Senate Republicans sought to link the policy's renewal to a plan to increase the number of charter schools permitted in the city, but Assembly Democrats balked.

The 85-year-old jail has been plagued by concerns for inmate mistreatment and deaths, security issues and mismanagement, won't close without new satellite jails, Mayor Bill de Blasio, said Thursday morning. This year, Mr. Heastie staked out a position that mayoral control should not be bargained over, precipitating the game of political chicken - something Blasio, who has a chilly relationship with Mr. Cuomo and Senate Republicans, applauded on Thursday.

Both sides blamed the other for the stalemate as they departed Albany, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Rikers Island is an 18th-century solution to a 21st-century problem, complicating prisoners' rights to a speedy trial, limiting families' ability to visit incarcerated loved ones, and saddling the City with an exorbitant financial burden in order to continue its operation", said Congressman Adriano Espaillat.

Legislators could return to Albany to take action before the law expires at the end of the month. De Blasio has argued against a jail on Staten Island, where local councilmembers are opposed. "I will never stop fighting for those kids, and will not leave them without a voice".

"We are not offering a quick fix", the mayor said in a statement.

Without a deal, New York City on July 1 will revert to the Board of Education.

The policy lapsed once before, briefly, in 2009, but was reinstated before any significant impact was felt.

"We need to see a commitment from the City Council members in the districts that have been initially propose to specifically start the land use process to achieve it", de Blasio told radio host Brian Lehrer in his weekly "Ask the Mayor Segment" on WNYC. Control of schools will then revert to a mosaic of local school boards. The legislature passed the law before a second meeting could be held and the board was again disbanded.

  • Leroy Wright