|Hoboken, NJ (July 2015)|
Under “mayoral control” of the city’s school system, only Mayor Bill de Blasio has the power to dump Chancellor Carmen Fariña over the scandalous graduation of a high school student who all but begged to fail and other instances of grade-fixing.
But thanks to courageous teen Melissa Mejia, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators may now have the ammunition they need to deny the mayor continued control when it’s up for renewal next year — if not sooner.
State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), who leads a committee with oversight of city schools, has already said de Blasio won’t get an extension without appearing before his panel for a grilling in Albany.
Felder didn’t return requests for comment Monday following Mejia’s explosive exposé and her teacher’s admission that she felt pressured to pass her.
But Assemblyman Edward Ra (R-Nassau County) wasn’t shy with his condemnation of de Blasio.
“This is the type of thing the Legislature is going to get into when we get into the next session and next June when mayoral control comes up for renewal,” he said.
Ra added the scandal “is likely to come up even before mayoral control, as we go through the budget” and de Blasio and Fariña appear in Albany to lobby for state funding.
“It’s a clear question that’s going to be asked: What’s going on in the system, from the chancellor on up to the Mayor’s Office?” Ra said, calling Mejia’s diploma “a symptom of a lot of what’s going on in education the last few years.”
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