Mayor Eric Adams has been confirmed to continue to retain control of New York City schools under a deal struck by state lawmakers Monday.
The first-term mayor will have to be back in Albany sooner than he had hoped to get it renewed, and will now also be tasked with shrinking class sizes over the rest of his time in office.
State lawmakers reached a deal to grant Adams a two-year extension of mayoral control of city schools. This is half of the four years the mayor and Gov. Kathy Hochul had proposed to fellow Democrats who control the Legislature.
The deal includes several changes to the city panel that votes on education policy.
Another major move involves capping the size of classes in city schools between 20 to 25 students, depending on the grade, over the next five years.
This is a good thing for the teachers union. However, the cap will likely be a costly endeavor for the city’s education department.
The Adams administration said it was reviewing the proposals, which are expected to go before the Legislature for a vote later this week and then to Hochul.
According to a source briefed on the internal discussions, while the mayor and governor had pitched a four-year extension of school control, Democrats in the State Senate were reluctant to give Adams such a long stretch since his administration did not provide lawmakers a plan or pitch proposals for what they wanted to accomplish with mayoral control.
Sources claimed that most lawmakers discussed granting Adams just one or two years of mayoral control of city schools, with “very few” even backing the idea of granting him three years.