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School DeskAssemblyman David Gantt has reintroduced his bill calling for mayoral control of the Rochester City School District.

Gantt reintroduces a lot of bills every session that have gone nowhere. The same is likely to be true of this one. That’s because the bill’s biggest backer, former Mayor Bob Duffy, isn’t around anymore. His successor, Tom Richards, isn’t interested in running the school district. Sensing the political climate has changed, everyone who previously supported mayoral control when it was first floated in 2010 has jumped ship.

But since this is Albany and strange things have been known to happen, such as the Maintenance of Effort law that passed without anyone knowing, it’s always good to keep an eye on the bill. (The MOE law requires Rochester to give the school district $119 million a year, more than any other Upstate district.)

It’s also important to remember we still don’t know if Richards will seek a full term. If a new mayor wants control of the school district – look out.

Gantt’s other initiative is the parent trigger law, allowing parents to take over a failing school.

Read Gantt’s mayoral control bill.

Links of the Day:

– Martin Luther King, Jr. visited Syracuse in 1965 and warned of “Jim Crow schools” in the north. Schools remain segregated in New York state.

Rochester is a segregated community.

– In the new newsroom of the Syracuse Post-Standard, reporters won’t have assigned desks. Meanwhile, the Boston Globe is using extra space creatively.

– Casinos are a bad bet for New York, a Democrat and Chronicle contributor writes.

– Flu season stirs a debate over paid sick time.

– The rise of pill-induced abortions in Western New York has raised issues for both sides of the abortion debate.

– JK Imaging has wasted no time coming up with a new “Kodak” camera.

Sperm whales adopt a deformed dolphin.

7 Responses to Trying Again on Mayoral Control

  1. Does it really matter who runs the schools in the city? They are run by the Union and that will never change. Failure means more money for the district and the union members, so that will never change. Politics is all about getting reelected and providing jobs for family members and close associates. I am sorry to have to be the one to expose this ugly truth. The only way to improve the situation is to have people who WANT to do the job and have established lives get into leadership positions. Political jobs should NOT have pensions. Politics is NOT suppose to be a career. Lower teachers pay, not raise them, and you get the people who truly want to teach. Just my thoughts…

    • January 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm PJ Birkman responds:

      Yes it does matter who’s in charge. Anyone with half a brain can see that the RCSD is totally mismanaged and has been for some time. And when you have an administration that is variously incompetent, weak, and self-serving if not outright corrupt it is only natural that competing power centers will emerge and attract loyalty away from the institution being badly lead. I saw it firsthand in Afghanistan, but the same principle applies to smaller jurisdictions and other organizations too.

      As far as lowering pay – great idea! I think we should apply the principle of lowering pay to attract only the truly dedicated for every important job. If it’s good for teachers, why not doctors, cops, plumbers and CEOs. We can start by cutting your paycheck.

  2. January 21, 2013 at 11:00 am theodore kumlander responds:

    mayoral control of the school district is not going to make any difference. it has not worked in Chicago. the problems are rooted in the students more managment will only make it worse.

  3. January 21, 2013 at 11:01 am theodore kumlander responds:

    rochester is segregated because it likes it that way.

  4. Mayoral control and the parent trigger law are all a part of weakening public schools are privatizing them. Less democracy in schools makes them more able to takeover the workforce and destroy the school system. Look at NYC where Bloomberg is the focus of every school fight. Chicago is also a mess. Difficult to see how continually destroying the rights of the little people is helping the economy.

  5. NYC and Chicago have better performance stats than the RCSD. SO if those school districts are a mess than Rochester is a disaster

  6. My interpretation is that this effort is the unofficial “Lovely Warren for mayor” announcement.

    Gantt has been grooming Lovely to be mayor for years now. He would not be bringing up this legislation if he did not see a clear path for her to run for mayor. She rises to power, and he continues to be the major power broker and button pusher for Rochester.

    Richards is tired and is nearing the end of road. Based on the timing of this, I would not be surprised to see an annoucement from both in the next 30 to 60 days.

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