Photo Courtesy – NY Post
Since being sworn in as our 109th Mayor of New York City, Warren Wilhelm Bill de Blasio and his administration has decided to overturn many of former Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s decisions that have helped New York City prosper.
De Blasio’s latest plan of attack focuses on charter schools. The Mayor has decided to block the opening of nine charter schools from the 45 schools that were set to open this Fall. Out of the nine blocked, three are Success Academy schools, run by former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz.
“Sorry kid, politics comes first.”
The Mayor refuses to show any signs of compromise, and argues that co-location of charter schools was a rush decision made by the previous administration. With no contingency plans for the co-location reversal, these schools are now left to fend themselves.
As a result of the Mayor’s political posturing, over 700 kids – mostly minority students from low-income families – are now forced to return to failed neighborhood schools they have tried to escape.
Charter school operations are provided with government space and are run by non-profit organizations that continue to flourish year after year with now over 183 schools in New York City serving 70,000 children. Charter schools are the best public city schools with success rates of over 60% passing the English exams and 80% passing the math exam, both far beyond the city averages.
During his mayoral campaign in 2013, de Blasio was a huge critic of charter schools,making it clear that he will impose a moratorium on co-locations and charge charter schools rent. He also specifically targeted Moskowitz’s charter schools must no longer be “ tolerated, enabled, [and] supported” by the city. After taking office, he announced a plan to cut $210 million over the next five years for classroom space and redirect them to add 7,000 new pre-kindergarten seats.
For a brand new Mayor who won based in part on his divisive ‘Tale of Two Cities’ theme and the need to bridge the gap between rich and poor, this latest attack of charter schools is a political threat and poses a double standard. Perception is quickly becoming reality, as de Blasio’s popularity has nose dived to a 38% approval
– in sharp contrast to his huge victory in November. His underlying agenda at the moment is to focus on resources for Universal Pre-K by taxing the rich, even though there are funds ready to be allocated by Gov. Cuomo.
The ones who will be affected the most by de Blasio’s decision are the children of NYC- our future. There is no valid reason for this occurrence. Charter schools demonstrate success and the children benefit academically from attending. Charter schools are not a threat to a normal public school; in reality, charter schools are public schools run independently by nonprofit groups. Charter schools are proof that public education is mismanaged by government. All the talk about children from the Mayor is to make sure his overall political agenda of Universal Pre-K happens not only with funding from Albany, but demanding income tax increase on the wealthy – his real goal.
This is just a politics gimmick. The real goal for New Yorkers is providing good schools for our children to attend. Charter schools are more important in reviving our failing education system. No Mayor or any legislator should be able to block access to quality education that charter schools provide. Any plans of charter school expansions set up by the past administration should not be sacrificed at the altar of progressive politics. It is a vindictive way the Mayor created to be different for the sake of being different. It harms the children in which he serves and only serves to perpetuate his notion of a “Tale of Two Cities.