YONKERS, NY — January 17, 2014 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano (left) announced today that Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio (right) will retire from his position as the head of the Yonkers Public Schools, effective in 30 days.
“I want to thank the Superintendent for his years of service to the city as well as his dedication and commitment to Yonkers’ 26,000 students,” said Mayor Spano. “We wish him well in all his future endeavors.”
Mayor Spano said he and City Council President Liam McLaughlin will use this change in leadership to call upon New York State to pass legislation to enact mayoral control of the Board of Education in Yonkers.
Mayor Spano added, “It has recently come to my attention that the Board of Education is operating with a budget deficit that could be up to $55 million, the direct result of improperly accounted-for State Aid over the past two years. The City has repeatedly, without success, asked the Board of Education to open their books and work collaboratively with us, but they have not done so. We believe this deficit is a direct result of the City not having direct oversight of their budget.”
“Under current state law, the Board of Education operates completely independent of City Hall, with no real transparency or accountability to parents and taxpayers. The current system does not work and it’s time for a change,” said Mayor Spano.
“The Board of Education has been operating as a separate entity for too long and it just doesn't work,” Council President McLaughlin said. “This incident highlights the lack of mayoral control and council input into education in our city. I stand with the Mayor in calling for passage of this legislation.”
Mayor Spano said that at this time he anticipates that the shortfall will not affect the classroom, and the City can utilize its own surplus funds in the short term to ensure adequate cash flow.
Pierorazio was appointed Superintendent of the Yonkers Public Schools by the Board of Education in 2005.
SOURCE: Christina Gilmartin, Communications Director, Office of the Mayor