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Anti-mayoral control bills grow in Albany as deadline nears

State lawmakers from New York City are rushing to register their views on mayoral control before a deal is finalized over the future of school governance in the city. One piece of legislation introduced today would gut the mayor’s school power, and it has already amassed a robust roster of supporters.

The “Better Schools Act,” introduced today in both the Assembly and State Senate, would turn into law many of the recommendations made by the Campaign for Better Schools, the coalition of community groups which is calling for control over the city school board to be taken away from the mayor. The bill’s lead sponsor in the Assembly is, as I reported on Monday, Carl Heastie of the Bronx, and he has 15 co-sponsors in the Assembly and eight for an identical bill in the State Senate.

Here’s the laundry list of bill supporters, from the Campaign for Better Schools’ press release:

Sponsors include Assembly Members Jeff Aubry, Inez Barron, William F. Boyland, Jr., Nelson Castro, William Colton, Vivian Cook, Deborah Glick, Carl Heastie, Janelle Hyer-Spencer, Hakeem Jeffries, David Koon, Grace Meng, Nick Perry, Linda Rosenthal, Matthew Titone and Keith L. Wright. And Senators Ruben Diaz, Sr., Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Shirley Huntley, Velmanette Montgomery, Kevin Parker, Bill Perkins, John Sampson and Diane Savino

Meanwhile, members of the Parent Commission on School Governance, which is also calling for substantial curbs on the mayor’s school control, are working on lining up sponsors for a bill to support the commission’s recommendations. A member told me today that Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell of the Upper West Side has agreed to sponsor the bill, and that the group is close to narrowing in on a State Senate sponsor as well, with a goal of having legislation introduced early next week.

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