YONKERS, NY – March 26, 2014 – “There have been serious lapses of fiscal transparency and accountability within the City of Yonkers school system which must be remedied and reformed. As a representative of the City of Yonkers, I reiterate my call to give the community, parents and stakeholders an opportunity to be part of the process and discussion.
“I continue to work in partnership with Senator Latimer, the State Assembly and the Governor’s office, to help the City out of this current fiscal crisis. However, the discussion about school governance and mayoral control requires much more input from the community. The process that New York City followed when they approved Mayoral control is the only other example we can draw from and we ought to take a page out of their book.
“In the fall of 2001, the Speaker of the Assembly created an advisory committee to analyze and make recommendations on this issue for New York City. The bill that authorized mayoral control reflects information learned through that process and included a sunset provision.
“In 2007, two years before the law sunset, the New York City Council convened a working group on Mayoral control and school governance. The group held public hearings, met with stakeholders and took two years before issuing a report in June 2009.
“In 2008, the New York State Senate created a second task force which held 7 more hearings on the topic throughout that year.
“In 2009, when the law was scheduled to be renewed, there were 5 additional hearings held by the Assembly Education committee where hundreds of people invested in the public school system testified about mayoral control and school governance.
“It is clear there is a need for a broader discussion on reforms to the Yonkers school system, including governance issues, but this discussion must include the people of Yonkers along with those who represent them. The people of Yonkers deserve no less inclusion or respect than the people of New York City.
“Senator George Latimer concurs with this statement.