Mayor de Blasio says he’s holding out hope that he can maintain his control over city schools before it expires at the end of this month — but he sure didn’t look that confident Wednesday.
Hizzoner stormed out of a town hall meeting in Lower Manhattan Wednesday night, just as the state legislature was about to adjourn for the summer without renewing mayoral control of New York City’s school.
Hizzoner abruptly left a neighborhood question-and-answers session a half hour early at the Chinatown YMCA to take a phone call on his flip phone from Albany for an update issue.
De Blasio’s department heads were then left behind to answer questions from residents on topics ranging from illegal gambling to affordable housing. Some residents fumed that the mayor wasn’t around to answer them directly.
De Blasio never returned to discuss his phone call, and reporters were told when the meeting ended that he had long left the building.
The Democratic mayor had been negotiating in recent days with GOP Sen. Majority Leader John Flanagan over an extension of mayoral control of city schools, which ends June 30. Among the sticking points were Republican demands to increase the number of city charter schools.
After news broke that the legislators left Albany without renewing control, de Blasio aides said the mayor is still hopeful that the Legislature would hold a special meeting on the matter before the law expires.
That is unlikely, however, according to Assembly Democrats.
Nevertheless, De Blasio’s spokesman Eric Phillips, said: “There’s time left to get this deal done for the 1.1 million New York City kids relying on our state government to protect the progress we’ve made in our classrooms. We continue to urge state government leaders to come to an immediate agreement on an issue all sides support.”