Don’t let parents voices, cries for charter schools fall on deaf Democratic ears
Overwhelmingly, city Democratic parents support charter schools and want the state to lift the cap that prevents entirely new ones from opening, reports The Post’s Carl Campanile — yet most of the city’s Democratic representatives in Albany won’t budge.
At least 12 highly promising charters, already cleared by the SUNY Charter School Committee, are just waiting for the Legislature to act before moving ahead. All the city’s existing charters have waiting lists running collectively to the tens of thousands.
But the teachers unions despise charters because they’re mostly not unionized, and their superior performance embarrasses the United Federation of Teachers-run competition. (Of course, “superior performance” is why parents want them.)
But the UFT and its statewide parent, New York State United Teachers, rule Albany: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), once supportive of charters, couldn’t even become speaker until he’d won the unions’ backing — and it’s obvious what he had to promise to get it.
Heck, No. 2 state Senate leader Mike Gianaris (D-Queens) has sung the praises of one charter waiting to open in his district, Urban Dove Team Charter School III, but also refuses to even ease the cap because NYSUT and the UFT won’t have it.
The poll commission by Democrats for Education Reform proves it’s not the public standing in the way: Two-thirds of city parents support lifting the cap; sentiment among Democrats is 2:1, as it is among Hispanic and black New Yorkers.
All that stands between city families and vastly greater educational opportunity is squalid backroom dealing with a single special interest — one that always claims to care about the kids.
Parents of New York, wake up: Your elected leaders are selling out your kids’ future. It’s time to revolt.
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