Bloomberg Takes Back Control of City Schools

Paterson signs bill after months-long battle

Gov. Paterson signed into a law a bill giving control of city schools back to Mayor Bloomberg after a months-long power struggle that dragged on during the state Senate stalemate. 

"Within the last hour I have signed the mayoral control legislation," Paterson said Tuesday at an event in Harlem with the Mayor in attendance. "I signed the bill the first moment that I saw it." 

The governor said the bill was brought to his Midtown office on Tuesday morning and he signed it along with 79 other bills, the Daily News reported. The initial law that gave Bloomberg control of the city's schools expired in June -- forcing the state to bring back the old Board of Education.

The mayor has said credited the city Department of Education with the schools' higher test scores and graduation rates along with improved safety records during mayoral control. These improved figures also are a significant platform in Bloomberg's re-election bid.

Critics have accused the city of limiting parental involvement and using police officers too often in schools.

Paterson spoke at an event at P.S. 208 to honor a $175 million program that gives low-income children funds for back-to-school shopping.

"I didn't think it needed any kind of public forum," Paterson said of the bill signing. "I could have brought it here and signed it right here, but I didn't want to upstage this event." 

"I didn't think it needed any further amplification from me, since we had to go almost a month and a half without mayoral control. The mayor didn't seem to feel that way anyway."

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