"With all due respect to folks who work in Albany, I don't think that bureaucrats 150 miles away are going to do a better job of solving our problems than our own chancellor and our own principals and teachers will do," de Blasio said during a visit to Automotive High School in Brooklyn, one of 94 failing schools the mayor is hoping to turn around with his $150 million Renewal Schools program.
"It's obvious that mayoral control works and it's a profound reform. Albany should just act on it now," de Blasio said. "It's as simple as that."
De Blasio and Assembly Democrats have been pushing to renew mayoral control of city schools for seven years, more than the current three-year span that has been in place since 2002. Cuomo has said he still sees mayoral control as an "experiment" to be renewed for another three years.
Cuomo has proposed his own plan that would allow the state to place failing schools under receivership. At the same time, Cuomo wants to raise the cap on the number of charter schools in the state.
Assembly Democrats, including Speaker Carl Heastie of The Bronx, have criticized Cuomo's proposed reforms as an effort to place more failing schools in the hands of charters.
It remains unclear whether the subject will come up before the April 1 budget deadline. There's talk in Albany of taking up the issue separately after the budget is passed, an idea that de Blasio strongly rejected.
"There's still time on the clock before the budget's due. Let's go and resolve this. I think there's a lot of voices in Albany that understand that mayoral control is a necessary reform if we are going to keep moving our schools forward," said de Blasio.
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who has 50 years of experience as an educator, said mayoral control allows her to cut through the "many layers" of bureaucracy that existed under previous forms of school control.
"The reality is I would have never taken this job at this time if there wasn't mayoral control because I really need to be able have a partner who makes decisions with us but then gives me the right to get it done," Farina said.
Wednesday's visit to the Automotive High School came amid de Blasio's Renewal Schools effort in which he's been directing additional resources to failing schools, such as mentors and writing coaches for the teachers. The goal is to improve student graduation rates and the quality of education.
The Renewal Schools efforts is only possible because under mayoral control the city has the ability to move swiftly to make changes with "clear lines of authority," the mayor said.
The schools have a three-year timeline to improve, but the mayor can close them sooner than that if he feels the reforms are not working.
In a statement about the budget process Monday, Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa said education reform was a "top priority" in the budget, especially "dealing with the epidemic of failing schools."
Pro charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools lobbied in Albany yesterday for "structural change" to fix failing schools.
"Thousands of kids are still trapped in failing schools, waiting for bold action from their state leaders," said the Rev. Samaris Gross of Families for Excellent Schools.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that voters consider education the state's top priority. The poll found that 63 percent of voters disapprove of the way Cuomo is handling education compared to 28 percent who approve.