NY Legislature adjourns without a deal on NYC schools

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ALBANY, N.Y. -

(AP) - New York lawmakers adjourned their 2017 session and left the state Capitol Wednesday without a deal to extend Mayor Bill de Blasio's control of New York City schools, dealing the Democratic mayor a major blow and potentially disrupting the governance of the nation's largest school system.
    
Mayoral oversight of schools, first enacted in 2002, will expire June 30. If the policy lapses, control will revert to a mosaic of local school boards.
    
While top lawmakers agreed on the benefits of having centralized leadership of city schools, they remain at odds about Republican proposals to link an extension to charter schools. Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan, of Long Island, sought to raise the cap on the number of charters allowed in the city, but Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, of the Bronx, refused to include the charter cap in the negotiations over mayoral control.
    
"I believe in mayoral control," Flanagan said. "Are we there yet? No. ... If we need to come back to Albany we'll come back."
    
Heastie, however, dismissed the idea that lawmakers would return.
    
"I have no intention of coming back," he told reporters after his chamber adjourned shortly before midnight.
    
The policy lapsed once before, briefly, in 2009, but was reinstated before any significant impact was felt.
    
If mayoral control goes away for good, control of city schools would revert to a single board of education and many local districts. The city estimates that could create $1.6 billion in added administrative costs over 10 years. Supporters of mayoral control say it has led to higher academic performance and programs such as universal pre-kindergarten.

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