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The Call Blog: Mayor De Blasio Continues Pre-Kindergarten Push, As Charters File Suit

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Have something to tell us at The Call? Drop us a line at thecall@ny1.com and we'll post it to our blog.



Traditional public school supporters were organized and out in force during tonight's show. Someone got the message that charter school groups were more vocal and controlling the message. Which public relations machine will win next time? We'll find out when the phone lines start ringing.



The Success Academy Charter school network is taking the Department of Education to court. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of parents of Harlem Central Middle School today after Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina recently reversed a decision to co-locate three charters in existing traditional public school buildings this fall.

The lawsuit claims the de Blasio administration failed to conduct appropriate reviews and didn't seek approval from the Panel for Educational Policy for the changes. While announcing the legal action, Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz said it's "unlawful, disruptive, and heartbreaking to evict students from their school."

Meanwhile, the Mayor continued his push to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund free pre-Kindergarten and expand after-school programs for middle school students. Speaking on MSNBC this morning, de Blasio joked the tax hike on high earners would amount to "the cost of a small soy latte at Starbucks." What do you say?

Should Mayor de Blasio continue to push for a tax hike on the rich or accept the promise from Governor Cuomo to pay for pre-K with existing tax dollars? Do you agree with the charter school lawsuit that claims the reversal of co-locations was made unilaterally and without public review? Is the new Mayor representing your vision for New York City?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



I am a public school parent. I think its very selfish of the charter schools to think that they have the advantage as is and then they want to take over space in our already crowded schools. You want our space, pay us for it. I think that its great that they are succeeding but if so why can't you by your space.

DeBlasio needs to focus on improving public schools.

Danielle



I would like to shed some light on this subject . Ms .Eva Mocawitez has been doing this for the last 15 years. I am a parent of a student who was in the first charter school in Harlem. Mrs. Mocchowitez and husband took over our school Risenbach Charter school and shut us down only to come back with er own school and take over the charter school in Harlem . She needs to be stopped

She needs to be accountable for her presence in these public schools

Rusti



I disagree Charter School should co-locations with public schools. All kids should have equal resources for children to thrive and succeed. So many budget cuts have stripped public schools of the enrichment programs and after school programs. Charters should not impede the success of public schools by taking Public a School resources.

Charter schools are strict and do not allow children to make mistakes without punitive action which may lead to issues in adults. Furthermore Charters don't mandate physical education. Children physical activities are limited on weekends also because children are bogged down with homework. On the other hand Charter school success is great and some of those methods should be applied to public school. I agree with our Mayor and chancellor also to bring equity to our school systems.

Debbie



We all want a better education for our kids, why not changing the system so that all kids get the same great education.

I guess charter school kids are not New Yorkers.

Hamidou



Teachers are being blamed for failures of public schools when public schools lack resources and have class sizes too large for high efficiency Corporations should subsidize public education if we are to become educational competitive globally

Jane
Public high school educator with two masters degrees



Maybe if Eva moskowitz was more transparent about what goes on in her schools the city could back her charters. There are plenty of transparent charter systems. Success is not one of those systems. Let moskowitz show her record of not servicing special Ed and ELL populations. Of removing problem students and letting the co-location deal with them. Moskowitz should be more transparent.

Chris from Brooklyn



I agree that the suit should have been filed as the Mayor and the DOE failed to follow the law as alleged in the complaint.

Further, the Mayor cited no valid reason why those specific schools should have been closed or denied co-location, particularly as to the Harlem location, which was doing extremely well. He should close the public schools that are not performing instead of denying diligent students the ability to get good schooling.

As to one caller's comment that charter schools are not necessary, the reason that charter schools came into being was because the public school system was failing miserably in many districts. Yes, the Mayor should focus on making public schools better, but not at the expense of charter schools that are performing very well.

Andy



Public education does not include paying profits for charter operators being equal for all should not by nature exclude We don't need vouchers and subsidy in co located schools. We need supports for all students.

J



I am a charter school parent. The Success Charter school franchise can afford TV commercials, bus ads, lawsuits, and charter buses at a few days notice but they complain about school space. Buy your own building like Harlem Village Academy did on 125 St. HVA grew larger than the space given to them by the Board of Ed and they used their resources for their space. Why do public school kids have to suffer because a charter school has grown? Charter schools receive private funding so the playing field is already unequal from the first day of co location.

Tahirah from Spanish Harlem



Charter schools have students who are accountable for their actions and parents who are accountable for their children. Public schools have students who are disruptive and don't even have working phone numbers. Seems simple....the public schools should follow the charter schools lead!

Nicole
Grymes Hill



Let's not forgot that Eva Moskowitz, who complains children will suffer if they have to pay rent, pays herself $475,000/year.

Michelle
NYC DOE Teacher
Williamsburg, Brooklyn



everyone is crying about charter school kids. What about our DOE kids that deblasio is trying to fight for . Do our kids deserve to be displace by charter school? No!!!!!!

Danielle , Harlem



SA education works and the UTF doesn't want to put the hours in that SA requires. My son's SA school is housed in a high school that was using the classrooms for storage. is that the best use of that real estate? SA also works because even kindergarten has homework every night and the parents are as responsible as the children. The SA model is based on responsibility: from the parents to the kids to the teachers to the principal. Every part of that is accountable.

Stop taking about Eva ' s salary when: 54 union reps and staffers got salaries of more than $100,000. The average was $144,000 — triple the starting teacher salary of $45,000. Five UFT officials were compensated more than the $212,614 base salary for the schools chancellor. UFT chief Michael Mulgrew makes $250,000. $264,000 to groups that campaign against charter schools, including the rebranded ACORN, now called New York Communities for Change. More than $1.7 million on food, including conferences at the Hilton and Waldorf. $150,000 for tickets to movies, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show, Mets and minor-league baseball games, and union swag such as mugs and tote bags.

Rob



I am okay with what he is doing. I am also fine with charter schools, but why should they have priority for space? Let them find their own space. They find their own teachers.

Who is paying for all those Success ads on TV? And who is paying for all the expensive head shots of the "scholars" in the ads? My taxes?

Ellie-Turtle Bay



Public school graduate/public school parent here. Am also a teacher educator and spend a lot of time in school buildings. Co-Los with or without a charter are a nightmare. 3 schools in a building? That's 3 administrations........3 sets of everything. Talk about top heavy.
And where do they find these admins? I've met Principals who have less than 4 years of teaching experience and almost never in a large city like NY.

Ridiculous school names, uniforms designed to present an aura of private school. Want to privatize then get your hedge fund buddies to house you at a Chase branch.

Laura
Staten Island



Charter Schools only provide educational services to a small fraction to all of NYC's youth, and if this city is going to move forward, we can not have city funded programs only look out for the few, they must provide for all. If we do not allow our new Mayor to take action that will bring us all together, starting with our children's educational programs, then we will pretty much remain in the same divided city the Bloomberg's administrators have so recklessly created.

Sal M.
Queens NY



Special Ed law has a "stay put" provision for students who need special classroom settings. The Middle School space should not even have been offered by the Bloomberg administration.

Maria
Morningside Hts.



The price paid per per public school child in NY is one of if not the highest dollar amount per child in the country...yet public school proficiency testing puts NY children at about 48th in the nation..the argument about inequity because corporations are involved is a false one as the parents of charter school children pay the same taxes as those that send their children to public schools so they are entitled to use public school buildings.

The bottom line is that the Mayor is rewarding the teachers union which was instrumental in his election......the fact is that the real battle is the choke hold the teachers union has over politicians like the Mayor and the fact that the union is more concerned with their members than they are the children....the end result is why charter school children do significantly better than public school simply because they have teachers that are interested in the children not their "union" position!

Allen in Manhattan



As teacher at LaGuardia Arts High School, corporate dollars should be allocated to subsidize all public schools to create equal opportunity for all students Additionally , our teachers should be revered for their commitment to education and treated like professionals that they are.

Steve



Charter schools are not expensive private schools - they are open to children from all socioeconomic levels - not just the wealthy. Charter schools are free! And they are doing well. (Ok, full disclosure, my brother is an Assistant Principal at a charter school.) I can tell you that he and his colleagues work very hard to help these kids and care so much about their scholars and their well being. The reason their parents are so passionate is because their children are having success at these schools!

What the mayor needs to do is improve the deplorable conditions in the public schools, not try to demonize charters. If the kids in the public schools had similar conditions, environments and resources that the charter kids do in their co-locations everyone would be much happier!

Perhaps following the fine example that these schools have set instead of fighting them at every turn would help the kids more than all of this unnecessary drama.

Erin from Astoria



I believe the lawsuit is without merit. Many Co-locations were done by the last administration under the table and as a done deal. The opinions of parents, students and teachers at the schools affected by the forced co-locations during public meetings went unheard as the decision was sealed before hand. Charter schools are just another public school option, not the panacea being advertised. "Community Schools" are a more progressive option providing much needed social services in addition to a rigorous education.

Obed
Washington Heights



I can understand the ideology behind reducing charter schools which run as businesses and take money from normal public schools. And the vast majority of charter schools live up to none of their promises and raise exactly none of the scores of their students above public school scores. And they take resources from co-schools. But the Success Academy Charter School is the one exception in NYC. Ironically, their students score in the top 7% of students in NYC. Mayor de Blasio just chose the wrong charter schools. There are so many others that should be closed. Arbitrary parent choice and marketing do not prove the success of charter schools, nor justify rough co-existence with struggling public schools. Only outcomes do....and in most cases, with the exception of Success Charter Schools, charter schools haven't proven their success. It's a simple equation Mayor de Deblasio.

Neil in Inwood, Educator



People are missing the main point. Taxpayers are not against Charter Schools. They are against colocations. Charter Schools should get their own buildings and have their private sponsors help pay the rent.

We are talking about being fair to Charter School students. What about being fair to Traditional public school students.

Mayor DeBlasio should stick to his campaign promises and end this tale of two cities!!! No colocations !!!

Ms Bridgette
Traditional Public School Parent



Why has this devolved into a debate between the charters and true public schools? The majority of the co-locations that the de Blasio administration approved were public on public. The formula used by the Bloomberg administration - and now also applied by the de Blasio administration - is flawed and the manifestation of an austerity project for public school children, designed to stress the schools and push experienced educators out. Parents of true public school students are also suing the city to stop the co-locations, because regardless of what type of school is being co-located co-locations deny students, particularly English Language Learners and special needs students, their right to mandated services and the space and resources needed to receive a sound, basic education. Why isn't the press covering this angle? We parents of true public school students don't have millions of dollars to put ads on the air to let the public know about the plight of students in buildings co-located by only true public schools, which have the same negative outcomes as public-charter co-locations. Opposing co-locations based on the flawed capacity formula is a principled stand that I wish de Blasio embraced!

Tory (District 6, Washington Heights/Inwood)



The mayor is wrong on this issue, if charter schools work why dissemble it. The bottom line is kids are getting a great education that what's important.

Kaya



This is a mess -- Charter Schools undermining and overshadowing the critical and necessary fight for Pre-K. There are 97% children in public schools which drastically need funding and only 3% of children in Charter Schools. Since former Mayor Bloomberg's regime public schools have been in a steady decline. Instead of fighting for more funding for these schools, his administration closed vast amount of public schools and opened Charter Schools with many co-locations. Now we have Governor Cuomo who at a Charter School Rally in Albany gave a rousing speech in which he promised to increase New York State's investment in privately run charter schools with no mention of anything for public schools. Governor Cuomo is supposed to be Governor for all children that deserve a great education not just an exclusive group of children!

Governor Cuomo -- Comrade of Charter Schools; sell-out of public schools and the middle class; Defender of the Wealthy. May as well vote Republican.

Lisa
Upper east side



My daughter's middle school just had an emergency meeting tonight to tell the parents the Harlem Success Academy is taking two classrooms in the fall. When HAS came in the school the DOE promised to give our children a art room after two years our children still don't have a art room and last year they took the library. Enough is Enough.

Miss Mae
central Harlem



Charter schools that want to be co-located in Public School buildings should be required to share financial resources that they receive from the private sector . This will balance out the fact that public schools are forced to share its resources.

Charter schools have enough money to exist wherever they wanted to. Why take up precious public school space from students that do not reap the financial support benefits that charter schools receive?

Michael from Clinton Hill Brooklyn



The disregard that Eva Moskowitz and her well-heeled backers routinely show to the families with kids in regular public schools is APPALLING. Why is it that Success kids are the only ones they deem worthy of worrying about? What about all the special ed kids who would be pushed out if the Success co-lo at PS149 had gone through? There have been so many losses of space and programs to the Success co-locations already.

I appreciate the fact that de Blasio and the DOE have put some thought into reevaluating ill-conceived co-locations. Now SUNY has to put some thought into how it grants charters, which right now they do without any thought to the space the schools will take up. And the DOE must re-think the way it determines the capacity of our schools.

Please stop giving so much fairly one-sided coverage to every utterance from Eva and the big-moneyed Families for Excellent Schools.

Anni
Manhattan



If only more voters turned out for the election we wouldn't be going through this absolute nonsense. Only 24% voted and now our children and city must suffer at the hands of this maniacal mayor. Bloomberg would be a sight for sore eyes right now.

Steve
Forest Hills



John,

I support the lawsuit by the Charters against DeBlanko who should be removed from office. He is a destroyer of NYC. He gets 8 fingers up and two thumbs down.

Joe
Port Richmond, SI



I am all for telling the charter schools to find their own building. Are they paying rent, utilities? Is the school making a profit?Keep the public schools public and in their own buildings. Let the charter schools fend for themselves or maybe Bloomberg will set up a trust for them. This is just part of the mess Bloomberg left.

Roscoe,
Park Hill



Hi John,

This is getting to be to much now. Like I’ve said from the beginning = not ready for prime time and besides all the responsibilities that have been given to his wife like being in charge our money and she can’t even get her appearances straight = today’s excuse and not a reason was that it was a conflict of sorts = supposedly !!! So how can both the mayor and his wife have so many responsibilities that pertain to us New Yorkers everyday lives and beyond. The mayors wife was to help ease the burden of having to go to so many venues to promote his Pre-K and she opted out.

He should stop bragging that he one with 75% of the vote. He did not because either
they didn’t vote or they did not vote for him. l know I can’t afford Starbucks.

Thank you John,
maxxiee
mp



Hi John

There are so many rich people in NYC from the Wall Street and other CEO's to the Yankee and Mets baseball players i'm sure every rich person in the city can afford a tax hike its for the kids. UPK is very important to start the kids off at a early age so they'll be prepared for college later on in life after school programs are important for the middle schoolers so they wont get in trouble by running away like Kareem did and they'll get help with homework or any other problems they have. I belive that separate buildings should be built for charter schools so the charter students will have enough space and the publuc school students would have space no one is overcrowded. Mayor Diblasio is doing a great job as Mayor of the city of New York.

Herman
Upper west side


Mr. De Blasio's class prejudice is showing, and it isn't pretty -- nor is his cavalier attitude toward the schools he is evicting. I'm not in the category of residents who would be affected by his proposed tax increase, but I'm still against it, just as I am now against him, period.

Bruce
Upper West Side
Manhattan

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