Thousands rally to support New York charter schools

Part 65 of 65 in the series Educating America

WE WANT CHARTERS: A group of charter school students rally Tuesday in support of charter schools outside the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged his support to the massive pro-charter school rally.

By Mary C. Tillotson | Watchdog.org

The 3,000 or so charter school supporters who rallied Tuesday in Albany, N.Y., want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to toss them a lifeline.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last week stopped three charter schools from co-locating with district public schools, leaving some children with no option but their district schools.

Charter schools that can’t co-locate have little recourse, as the schools receive less money than traditional district schools. Per-pupil operating funding for charter schools is significantly lower, and charter schools don’t get money to build brick-and-mortar schools, according to the New York Post.

The three charter schools no longer approved for co-locations belong to the Success Academy network, run by Eva Moskowitz, de Blasio’s political rival. In New York City, Success Academy ranks in the top 1 percent for math and top 7 percent for English, according to its website.

“We are hopeful that Governor Cuomo will listen to us and help us out. He has voiced his support for charter schools, just like the president, just like the education secretary. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when the government doesn’t seem to be on the right track as the rest of the country,” Will Loskoch, principal of a Success Academy school, told the New York Post.

Thirty-six of 45 previously approved co-locations were re-approved, including 14 charter schools, according to SF Gate. The rest had their approvals reversed.

Families for Excellent Schools organized Tuesday’s rally.

“In New York State, every child has the right to a high-quality education, but in New York City the administration has threatened to overturn approved school co-locations and to assess rent to charter schools — putting public charter schools at risk. Albany has the power to ensure that public school children can remain in public school buildings, and parents are looking to Albany leaders for support of fair treatment,” Families for Excellent Schools said in its announcement of the rally.

Cuomo has supported charter schools, and he told the crowd at that rally he would make sure the schools had the money and space they needed, according to CBS Local.

Contact Mary C. Tillotson at mtillotson@watchdog.org.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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