Hearing on Mayoral Control of Schools Draws Crowd

About 150 parents and community leaders turned out for today's state assembly hearing on whether the law granting Mayor Bloomberg control of the public schools should be renewed in June.

The education committee hearing attracted vocal supporters and opponents of the law.

A panel of community district education council members told lawmakers that mayoral control has weakened parent involvement, because their councils have so little power over zoning and decisions to open and close schools.

But supporters of the law say it's led to better schools. Maria Santos of the education department's Office of English Language Learners testified that schools are providing more resources to students who don't speak English.

The hearing is expected to last all day. It's the fourth in a series being held in each borough -- the last one is next Friday in Brooklyn.