Another notable nugget from the mayoral control forum Friday came from Udi Ofer, the advocacy director at the New York Civil Liberties Union. NYCLU hasn’t taken a position on the most basic question of mayoral control (should the mayor have control or should there be a school board), but the organization seems very likely to push for adding checks and balances to the Department of Education’s authority.
Echoing concerns that I wrote about last week, Ofer said a central problem lies in the Department of Education’s peculiar position between being a state agency subject to state oversight and a city agency subject to city oversight. He gave two examples of how the dilemma plays out. The first is that the DOE, by his account, refuses to follow both the state and city versions of a law called the Administrative Procedures Act, which forces government agencies to, among other things, allow some finite public comment period before enacting new regulations.
Here’s his explanation (and below it I’ll put his second example, the mayor’s refusal to enact the City Council’s Dignity in all Schools Act):
Ofer on the Dignity in All Schools Act:
Thanks to David Bellel for sending over the video.