Mayor de Blasio Waits (and Waits) for a New Mandate to Run New York’s Schools

If they do not, and if the lawmakers make good on vows to go home for the rest of the year, then the power that the mayor has under state law to choose the city school chancellor and set educational policy will expire at the end of June.

According to the mayor, who was joined at City Hall by other elected officials, union members, activists and a handful of schoolchildren, that would return the city to “the bad old days” when the Board of Education chose the chancellor, and dozens of local school districts around the city went their own way and were plagued, in the mayor’s words, by “chaos and corruption.”

Mr. Heastie favors a multiyear extension, but Mr. Flanagan seems willing to grant that only if he wins concessions on charter schools, which Mr. Heastie opposes. The governor has said he sees a real possibility that no deal will be struck and mayoral control will lapse.

On Monday night, the governor, Mr. Flanagan and Mr. Heastie met in the governor’s office in the Capitol in Albany, along with Jeffrey D. Klein, who leads a breakaway group of independent Democratic senators, while reporters waited outside.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio at Monday’s rally to support his bid for mayoral control of New York City schools.

Credit
Harrison Hill/The New York Times

When Mr. Flanagan emerged from the meeting, he said that he planned to call the mayor back. Mr. Klein said of the meeting: “We’ve been talking about a lot of different things. We talked about mayoral control, of course.” He added, “We still have two days to get it done.”

Mr. de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg, first won mayoral control in 2002 with a seven-year term, and was then given a six-year extension in 2009. But the Republican-led Senate has insisted on keeping Mr. de Blasio on a tighter leash, granting him only annual renewals.

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