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City Council hearing: Mayoral control

The Education Committee of the City Council is holding an oversight hearing about mayoral control of the schools. Public testimony will begin around 4 p.m.

From the Council:
The State law that established mayoral control of City schools is due to expire on June 30, 2009. Prior to that date, the State Legislature must decide whether to renew mayoral control in its present form; to retain mayoral control but amend it in some way; or to allow the law to expire and revert back to the old governance structure of a central Board of Education with local Community School Boards.

In July 2007, the City Council formed an internal working group, co-chaired by Council Members James Vacca, David Yassky and Robert Jackson, that looked at the issues of mayoral control and school governance and developed recommendations to improve the governance structure of the City’s public schools. A number of other organizations have also released reports with recommendations on this issue and the Education Committee would like to hear from these groups as well as concerned education stakeholders and the general public prior to the Legislature acting on mayoral control.

We invite members of Community Education Councils, parents, students, educators, advocates, and all other stakeholders and interested members of the public to testify at this hearing. Testimony will be limited to 2-3 minutes per person to allow as many as possible to testify. Although the hearing starts at 2:00 pm, the Administration (Department of Education), as well as other witnesses (such as elected officials) have been invited to testify and answer questions from Council Members at the outset, so we do not expect to hear from others until sometime after 4:00 pm. Please make sure you fill out a witness slip on the desk of the Sergeant-at-arms if you wish to testify. If you plan to bring written testimony, please bring at least 20 copies.