THE MAYOR’S BLOG: Moving Yonkers Schools Forward By MIKE SPANO

eHezi Governance 10 Comments

Spano_MikeLast month after former Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio announced his retirement following the revelation that the Board of Education mistakenly accounted for $55 million in state aid that never existed, many Yonkers parents, students and school personnel were understandably upset and uneasy about the state of Yonkers Schools. After all, Yonkers’ families and teachers are still reeling from several years of cuts.

Last year, my second in office, I passed a bipartisan, unanimous City budget that actually increased school funding. Our historic investment in education provided the BOE with resources to restore positions, sports, art and music. The BOE’s budget error not only jeopardizes those restorations, but the entire school system and every Yonkers taxpayer too.

An error of this magnitude requires that those responsible be held accountable to the taxpayers who fund our schools. That’s why I am pleased that this week the Board of Education Trustees accepted Mr. Pierorazio’s retirement and appointed Dr. Michael Yazurlo as Interim Superintendent.

Dr. Yazurlo is a great fit for Yonkers Public Schools. A Yonkers resident and product of Yonkers Public Schools himself, Dr. Yazurlo taught at Enrico Fermi Middle School and Lincoln High School, and served as the principal at Hawthorne Jr. High and Roosevelt High before taking the job as Superintendent of Tuckahoe Schools. Dr. Yazurlo also has private sector, academic and finance experience that will serve him well as the BOE copes with its financial challenges.

As we work with the State and City Council to help the BOE manage these budgetary issues, we also have a responsibility to taxpayers, parents and students to ensure these accounting errors don’t ever happen again. It’s a matter of common sense – more than $500 million is paid to the Board of Education by taxpayers with little oversight or accountability; that’s more than half of the city’s overall budget. We’ve already made progress on this front. Earlier this month we entered into an inter-municipal agreement with the BOE and my finance team has begun to open the BOE’s books.

Later this year I will also ask the State Legislature to pass school governance reform legislation that will provide the City with greater oversight over the BOE’s finances. Doing so could save taxpayers millions of dollars by consolidating overlapping operations in the Board of Education’s front office. It just doesn’t make sense for Yonkers to have two law departments, two IT departments and two HR departments – one on the municipal side and one on the educational side. We should put those functions under one roof because we are one city.

Despite our challenges, Yonkers has come a long way in the last two years. We’ve moved our city in a new direction and together we will move Yonkers Schools forward.

Mayor Mike Spano is the 42nd Mayor of the City of Yonkers, NY. 

Mayor Spano is a lifelong Yonkers resident, husband and father of three who has dedicated his life to standing up as a voice for Yonkers' families and communities.

eHeziTHE MAYOR’S BLOG: Moving Yonkers Schools Forward By MIKE SPANO

Comments 10

  1. Election year...yippy more phony promises

    Election year is upon us and it is time to pull the wool over the eyes of the good people of Yonkers to make them blind the good people with make believe stories of unicorns and the great White Horse riding in to save the children of Yonkers at the very last moment…

  2. where's the beef

    How can this be…is it a clerical error or is the cash truly misspent…does the big guys entire salary contract which is close to one mill still have to be paid…

  3. One termer

    to ‘inside basebal’we shall see i dont beleive it will be that easy as you say,because he is playing both sides of the party,i dont know when the last time i seen a mayor reward and give out jobs to the other sside,Spencer administration was 98%republicans and the jobs he fot in other departments where 90%republicans ,same thing with amiclown.but spaNO is givin 70% dems and 30$ replicans,he is getting bad advice from his brothers,not too mention he is screwing over his close friends …time will tell…

  4. Inside Baseball

    @One Termer, Your heart is in the right place but the Mayor has done a brilliant job of taking over the Democratic Party in Yonkers and filling it with former Republican stooges of his. Those who would mount any serious threat in the party to deny him a second term have all been conveniently bought off: Kevgas, the ward leader, exec. director and Young Dems chair (now has a job in the Constituent Services Dept.); Jenkins (now has a job for the mayor); Terrero (now works for the mayor). And the list goes on and on. The mayor will be reelected and then try his luck at the County Exec race – that’s what he is really focused on. Just imagine all the big fat contracts he and his brothers can get their hands on if they win that seat. While they fawn phony love for Andrew, they secretly hope he loses so they can take over White Plains.



  6. One Termer

    cant wait till he starts campaigning, he thinks by buying off democrats and republicans with jobs will help him out later??? he is taking care of the ones that never supported him and hated him, and the ones that are loyal and supported him are getting screwed over so no matter what he will have a hard time winning, here is my prediction
    Democrat primary 100% possible just to name a few are Mayer,Lesnick,and they will win!
    Republican challenge 100% Justin is not going to give spano a free ride few names circulating cant predict yet
    Heard the Ind party has re-org this year so I don’t know if he gets that support.
    so mike keep fucking over your loyalist the guys that are with you from day 1 and and reward the ones that mother fuck you and worked against you,see you soon on the campaign trail…………

  7. sad

    Cut the bird poop please Mr. Mayor. Any education professional will tell you that the Superintendant position should be INDEPENDENT of politics and anyone who has been around a Yonkers block or two, would know that you did not select the good Dr. because he was INDEPENDENT. You did select him because you know he will do whatever you want him to do. That’s what we need here in Yonkers; another bleeping Spano stooge!!! (like we don’t have enough already)
    You’re quite correct that the melding of two departments will result in reduced overall costs, BUT, you forget to mention one other really big thing that the combination will accomplish; it will be completely controlled by YOU and your family. The good Dr. will have to request all services of necessary departments supporting the BOE through; you guessed it; YOU.
    The good Dr. will be able to accomplish absolutely NOTHING without first having to clear everything through YOU. No law support, no budget autonomy, no operation autonomy, no thinking for the good of our schoolchildren, no nothing, without first clearing everything through, who in your family? The good Dr. will barely be able to visit his lavatory facilities without clearing it through YOU!
    Now think of it. All those possible patronage jobs, for political hacks; girlfriends of your brothers and nephews that need a place to do their nails and primp their hair; isn’t that going to be great for you and yours. All this at the expense of the long suffering Yonkers taxpayer, who, by the way, needs no more examples of how you and your family run our city’s politics. Now you have expanded you double dealing and backstabbing to our children; shame. All the while, you choose to use “other” options for you and yours. It’s not difficult to see why you don’t want to utilize Yonkers schools, who really wants to actually associate with the people who elected you. Let’s hope the rest of us see through your phony façade and truly make you a one term wonder..

  8. Where is the Council on this

    The Mayor can not have it both ways. Had the $27 million not been incorrectly applied to the BOE the Mayor would have had to raise taxes or cut services and would not have had two unanimous budgets. The mistake wa made on Bernard’s watch but many people including the BOE, the Mayor, The Council and the Comptroller signed off on the budget.

  9. mjs

    Funny, a few months ago Spano was praising Pierorazio with a new contract and he being recognized as supt. the year. What is it mayor that went so wrong, if NYS has to approve BOE budgets?
    Oh wait, more DOUBLE TALK…this is sounding awfully familiar now.
    The kids are our future…yada,da,da

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