Mayor Bill de Blasio received a one-year extension of mayoral control over schools, the city’s rent regulations received a four-year extension and a proposed education tax credit bill for money given to nonpublic schools was rejected as part of a tentative deal that Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today with leaders from both houses of the state legislature,.
In the extension of mayoral control of city schools for one-year, the deal seemed to favor the Senate, which only wanted one year of continued control, while the assembly voted to grant the mayor three years of continued control. It also increased the charters schools cap to 50 more in the downstate region.
While the education tax cred bill for nonpublic schools was rejected, Cuomo did say the deal will include $250 million given to nonpublic schools for “mandated services” reimbursement.
Following the announcement of the deal, both the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which is in a pitched battle with Charter schools and fervently disagreed with the education tax credit bill, and StudentsFirstNY, which largely supports charter schools and favored the education tax credit both declared victory.
“We started this session with the Governor attacking teachers and public education. We have ended up with no education tax credit and no raise in the charter cap, with only four charters reassigned to the five boroughs. In addition, the “gag order” has been lifted, and no teacher can ever be subject to discipline for discussing questions from the state tests,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.
But StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis praised Gov. Cuomo for standing up for education.
“Today’s deal allows for 50 new charters for New York City and gives Mayor de Blasio a year to restore parent confidence in his ability to run schools. The education tax credit would have provided parents quality options, and we’re disappointed that an agreement couldn’t be reached,” she said.
In the four-year extension of New York City’s rent regulations, the threshold at which apartments would become decontrolled was increased and there was increases in the major capital improvement threshold whereupon landlords could raise the rent. However, what these increases were was not available at press time.
Cuomo said a proposal dubbed “raise the age” of criminal responsibility, which would have reformed current laws that currently see 16-18 year-old convicted felons of being put in adult prisons, had failed in negotiations. However, he said he would seek to accomplish the measure through an executive order.
Also failing to pass both houses was a measure requiring a special prosecutor to handle police-involved fatal shootings. Cuomo said as an alternative he will appoint Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as a special prosecutor to handle such cases for a period of one year.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan will now bring the tentative deal to their respective conferences for a final approval.
Below is the video of Cuomo, Heastie and Flanagan press conference announcing the deal.