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It’s “snow” excuse!
The New York State Assembly postponed a hearing scheduled for Thursday “due to weather” — even though it was set to take place remotely.
A spokesman for Speaker Carl Heastie said that the meeting — about mayoral control of New York City schools — had to be pushed off “because staff needs to be in the (State Capitol) to run the virtual component.”
But Big Apple schoolkids won’t catch the same break as lawmakers.
All 1.1 million of them will be learning from home during the anticipated snowstorm, the Department of Education said.
Assembly Education Committee Chairman Michael Benedetto chuckled when asked about getting a snow day due to the postponed hearing.
“The schools are open but we’re getting a snow day,” he said.
Benedetto (D-Bronx) said the meeting was pushed off for the safety of Assembly staffers, who had to go to the State Capitol building to prepare for the remote hearing.
“There are people who have to put this together. For their safety, we postponed. We’ll take up the issue early next year,” he said.
Assemblyman Mike Reilly (R-Staten Island) said that while he was “disappointed,” it was understandable that the hearing was postponed for the staff’s safety.
However, he said he would push to get another meeting on the books before the end of the year.
“There are so many parents, educators and advocates who want to share their thoughts on mayoral control,” Reilly said.
He added: “Fixing mayoral control is a priority of mine, especially with the upcoming 2021 mayoral election.”
Lawmakers were going to examine whether mayoral control of the NYC school system should be extended or gutted when the law is up for renewal in June of 2022.
Mayoral school control was initially championed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and approved by the state Legislature in 2002, then renewed several times since then, including last year.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also has been a big booster.
The law expires after de Blasio leaves office, meaning school control will be an issue for the next mayor, who will have to negotiate extending or revise the school control law with the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Asked about the issue on Wednesday, Cuomo said that “the assembly is doing a hearing on it.”
“We’d have to pass a law next year so we have plenty to talk about right now, and we haven’t gotten to the topic with the legislature,” Cuomo said.
“But .. especially because the Assembly is predominantly from New York City, I’m sure the Assembly is going to have strong feelings on that and then we’ll have a conversation, I just haven’t had that conversation.”
Additional reporting by Tamar Lapin
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