Today’s City Council vote all but assures that Mayor Bloomberg will run for a third term as mayor. If he does, and especially if he wins, the city schools will feel a strong impact.
The three consequences I went over this morning remain true. We can still expect an outcry from opponents of his school efforts, maybe even from the state level. (Or the text message level: Kelly just got one from a teacher friend, Ira, that read simply: “That sucks.”) We can still expect charter school leaders to be happy (and perhaps for there to be more charter schools in public school buildings). We can still expect for the debate on mayoral control to become a referendum on the mayor, which could hurt his argument for keeping the current governance structure fully intact, since many legislators are unhappy with his school record.
Another thing that is slowly dawning on the educators I talk to is that all the proposals Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein talk about for the future might actually happen.
Here’s an example of a realization already kicking in: I heard from two sources today that schools this week are starting to think about how the full implementation of Fair Student Funding would affect their budgets. The new form of budgeting was supposed to redistribute school funds to schools with more students in poverty, and it would have taken away a lot of money — hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases — from schools with more affluent students.
But before it could take effect, the city and the teachers union negotiated a “hold harmless” provision that preserved budgets for two years. That provision is set to expire next year, something everyone knew all along, but which for a while didn’t feel too real. Assuming that without Bloomberg in office Fair Student Funding would quietly disappear, opponents were unworried, while proponents, who felt the city had given in on an important equity question, were frustrated.
Now, of course, things look different.