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De Blasio allies extend school control, but Senate wants changes

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks about income inequality during a visit to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, April 16, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Charlie Neibergall

ALBANY - The state Assembly approved a bill Monday that would extend mayoral control over New York City schools for three years, though it is unclear if the Republican-led Senate will go along.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) originally proposed extending Mayor Bill de Blasio's control over schools for seven years, closely matching how the state Legislature treated his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg.

But on Monday, Heastie said three years was more realistic because that's what Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed and, so far, the Senate hasn't said what it wants.

"We think three years is enough time to let the mayor finish implementing his vision and we all come back and look at it three years later," Heastie told reporters shortly before the vote. Asked about a longer extension, he said: "That's a good question but we are trying to negotiate this, among other things, and [de Blasio] seems to be OK [with three years], so we're OK."

The Democratic-dominated Assembly approved the measure, 98-39.

Newly minted Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) has said "reforms" are needed in the mayoral-control law, but hasn't outlined specifics.

The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn the 2015 session on June 17.

 

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