According to a New York Sun editorial, various court orders make illusory the claim that the mayor has won back control of the NYC schools:

[A court order commonly] referred to as Jose P. … mandates the administrative and financial particulars of the city’s special ed system, requiring among other things a team of three administrators to evaluate each pupil in the system and a host of special services at every school with special education students. While Jose P. began in 1980 as a slim 47-page document, it expanded to 515 pages of regulations by 1982 and has continued its gross growth since….

[B]ilingual education… is controlled by the court order stemming from 1974’s Aspira of New York v. the Board of Education of the City of New York. The decision, which originally mandated that the city maintain bilingual education for Spanish-speaking students, now applies to languages including Chinese, Russian, and Haitian Creole….

Between the more than 135,000 students covered by Jose P. and the 125,000 whose academic experience is governed by Aspira, the city lacks educational and financial discretion over more than 25% of the children placed in its schools. And those more than a quarter of a million students consume a disproportionately large percentage of the system’s spending.


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