Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano presses for mayoral control of city's public schools

Spano asked for more oversight after the district spent $44 million in state aid that it didn't have, a revelation that prompted the sudden retirement of Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio.

Spano asked for more oversight after the district spent $44 million in state aid that it didn't have, a revelation that prompted the sudden retirement of Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio. (3/17/14)

YONKERS - Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano is pushing to gain more of a say over the city's public schools, and while the state Senate has agreed that Spano should have "mayoral control," the move isn't set in stone just yet.

Spano asked for more oversight after the district spent $44 million in state aid that it didn't have, a revelation that prompted the sudden retirement of Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio.

The mayor's request comes as the state attempts to get its budget in order. State lawmakers are looking at financing and other changes that need to be made in schools across New York. Spano says mayoral control is just one way to help the city's financially strapped district.

"If we are even to get some kind of governance reform that allows the city to have more control over the finances and maintenance, and some of the non-scholastic parts of the Board of Education, that certainly would be helpful to the taxpayers," Spano says.

The Yonkers School Board has signed an agreement allowing the city's financial team to provide services until the end of the school year. However, there's uncertainty that mayoral control is the best option.

In a statement, Yonkers School Board President Nader Sayegh said, "The board recognizes prior concerns that contributed to the present financial shortfall. However, the board does not see the immediate takeover of the school district as the best option. The present board has displayed an extensive record of transparency and cooperation in the budget process."

The head of the Yonkers teachers union does not believe that the mayor's plan is right for the city's schools, either. "I think he wants to do what is right for them," says union President Pat Puleo. "I think I believe he already has control, and I do not know what will happen to the schools in the future under who-knows-what mayor."

The state Assembly still must approve the mayoral control measure, and then it goes to the governor.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

News 12 asked residents what they thought about 1 Westchester Talks Trump: First 100 days
Police say Kenya Reed witnessed Blair Robinson beat 2 Yonkers mother charged in connection to son's death
News 12 Interactive 3 News 12 Varsity Report for April 28
Extended interview with Greenpoint igloo creators 4 Extended interview with Greenpoint igloo creators
A Westchester County legislator alleges that another candidate 5 County legislator alleges opponent got physical with her

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Yonkers gets new school superintendent

Kids in Yonkers public schools have a new superintendent. At a special meeting last night,

Yazurlo was born and raised in Yonkers and Interim Yonkers superintendent starts job

Today was the first day on the job in Yonkers for interim School Superintendent Michael

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE