Letter Supporting Mayoral Control of the New York City School System

May 19, 2017

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor
New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Honorable John J. Flanagan
Majority Leader
New York State Senate
Room 330, State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 11248

Honorable Carl E. Heastie
Speaker
New York State Assembly
LOB 932
Albany, NY 12248

Dear Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Flanagan, and Speaker Heastie,

The Hispanic Federation represents organizations that advocate for Latinos and communities of color in New York City. We understand and uphold the importance of a quality public education for our diverse neighborhoods. Our passionate belief is that all children, regardless of zip code, deserve safe and caring learning environments, with academic supports that accelerate their success.

For this to happen, there must be accountability. Over the years, we have seen the positive impact and education gains that have resulted due to mayoral oversight of the New York City school system. Therefore, we urge you to pass a multi-year extension of mayoral control.

Mayoral control has ushered in important educational progress for our children. This legacy of improvement continues under Mayor Bill de Blasio. His Equity and Excellence for All agenda, including Community Schools, serves the needs of the whole child by providing them with support services from partnering grassroots agencies. The mayor’s Pre-K for All program increased access to early childhood education to nearly 70,000 children. These and other initiatives have resulted in the highest high school graduation rates in the City’s history, with significant increases among Hispanic and Black students.

Although we’ve made great strides, there is clearly much more to do to ensure that all of our kids receive a high quality education. In fact, that’s the very reason why we must maintain mayoral control of our public schools. We believe that the Mayor must lead and be held accountable for sustaining and accelerating the progress we’ve made in recent years. In addition, there should be every expectation that Mayor de Blasio will be up to the task given his focus and past success on improving educational outcomes for our children.

As such, we implore you to pass a multi-year extension of mayoral control of New York City schools. Our students, our families, our communities and our city deserve nothing less.

Sincerely,

Jose Calderon
President