Sunday, July 19, 2009

Today, Sun., July 19th: Press Conference at City Hall

From the organizers:

The Senate's vote on mayoral control:

On Thursday night, the Senate brought S5576, the Better Schools Act to the floor, which would create moderate curbs on the Mayor’s dictatorial control, including set terms for PEP members and one less than a mayoral majority on the board.

The legislation was defeated, 15-40, mostly because of upstate, suburban and Republican opposition, while two thirds of the Democratic NYC Senators voted for it. Then they called a recess and went home.

The names of the Senators who voted for the bill are below; as well as those who voted against.

Please thank your Senator if he or she supported the bill and ask those who opposed it to reconsider – and to recognize the need for checks and balances and a real voice for parents at every level of the system.

There is video of some of the Senators who led the debate on YouTube: Senator Huntley Speaks on the Better Schools Act , in which she recounts how she is locked out of the schools in her district, including one that she helped found: “We are tired of letting the Mayor strangle the life out of our community and that’s what’s going on and we will tolerate it any longer.” Also, Senator Adams Speaks on the Better Schools Act, in which he talks about the widespread practice of “credit recovery” and pointed out to the Long Island GOP Senators who support Bloomberg would not stand for schools so badly run in their own communities: “All I’m asking is let us have input into the system, and I would do the same for you.”

On the Mayor’s radio show yesterday, Bloomberg personally attacked the NYC Senators who voted for the bill – some by name -- saying that the only possible explanation for their votes is that they wanted to “ruin” the public schools; that the bill would establish a "slush fund to train parents so parents can disrupt the schools,” and that parents should have no say in their children’s schools since “I want teachers and principals to run the classroom, they’re professionals.”

He also said that “at some point, democracy has to stop” and that the Governor should call out the state troopers to “drag” the Senators back until they agree to preserve his complete control over the schools. The full audio from Bloomberg’s radio show is available here; also see Mayor Assails Senate Inaction on School Control‎ (NY Times), Bloomberg Unleashes On The Senate Dems‎ (Daily Politics) and Mayor Bloomberg's advice to Gov. Paterson: Drag bums back to Albany (Daily News.)

The mayor and his allies, who have already spent millions of dollars on their lobbying effort, are now running nasty robocalls in the districts of the Senators who refused to comply with his will.

For your Senator’s contact info go to

If they voted yes, say thank you for standing up for parents, and don’t give up!

If they voted no, ask them why their support unilateral mayoral control, the lack of any parent input into education policies, and the administration’s wrongheaded policies.

The 14 NYC Democratic Senators who voted YES for the Better Schools Act (and for checks and balances on mayoral control)
Carl Kruger

The 6 Democrats from NYC who voted NO to the Better Schools Act
Malcolm Smith
Jeff Klein
Diane Savino
Liz Krueger
Jose Serrano
Eric Schneiderman

(Sens. Dilan and Onorato were excused; Sen. Squadron was on vacation, but presumably would have voted no.).

All three NYC Republicans voted no:

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