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The Charter School Non-Vote
January 19th, 2010

Charter school advocates have harshly condemned the legislature for not lifting the state’s cap on the number of charter schools in the city and, in the process, jeopardizing New York’s chances to receive as much as $700 million in federal Race to the Top education funding.

In a statement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized the legislature for playing ” Russian roulette with our children’s futures” by not voting on the governor’s proposal to raise the cap to 460 without putting new restrictions on charters. Bloomberg said Paterson’s bill “was the only bill that had the support of a majority of senators.” (He did not mention that a measure put forth by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, which raised the cap to 400 while tightening controls on charters, was the only bill that had the support of a majority of Assembly members.)

In a somewhat more pungent take, Joe Williams of the pro-charter Democrats for Education Reform likened the legislature’s action (or lack thereof) to “the governing equivalent of puking up a bunch of Jagermeister on the sidewalks of Albany.”

The teachers union and its allies, who supported Silver (or, perhaps more accurately, Silver supported the union) placed the blame for the lack of action on charter advocates and their allies who rejected any further restrictions. “New York State had a chance to address the glaring inequities in charter school admissions, to increase the transparency of charter operations and to force profiteers out of the charter businessm” United Federation of Teachers president Michel Mulgrew said, referring to the Assembly bill. But charter advocates and their allies resisted these desperately needed reforms.”

And the Edwize blog blamed the New York Charter Schools Association for rejecting the Silver bill which, Edwize said, “would combine an increase on the cap with a prohibition of for profit involvement in charter schools and limits on the NYC [Department of Education] policy of capriciously siting charter schools in district buildings to the detriment of the public schools already using the space.”

The battle today centered largely on the federal money. But it promises to be just one round in an escalating fight over charters, as the union seems to be taking a harder line against the publicly financed, privately run schools. Stay tuned for more acrimony next month as the Panel for Education Policy prepares to vote on a raft of proposals to place or expand charter schools in city school buildings.

By on January 19, 2010, 7:01 pm
In category: Albany,Education,Eye on Albany | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “The Charter School Non-Vote”

  1. fedup Says:
    January 20th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    God Bless Shelly Silver and John Sampson-isn’t it amazing how when salaries were going to be capped and public school parents could vote not to allow “FOR PROFIT CHARTERS” into their buildings that Bloomy and company (Rich fat cats) decided the bill would efectively kill charter school movement? And didnt you love Bloomy trying to invoke MLK as if he even knew what a charter school is? Bloomy wanted the money from DC to speasd more chrters which would drain public schools and thus deplete the public school budget… The fear is gone he is alame duck and sanity will return Thompson kicked his saggy billion doolar butt

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    May 14th, 2013 at 8:13 pm

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