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Mayor Bill De Blasio: Advertising Campaign Won’t Impact Stand On Charter Schools

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio finds himself in another education tug-of-war, this time over charter schools.

As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported, charter school supporters have launched a multimillion-dollar, multipart ad campaign in a bid to pressure de Blasio to soften his posture on charters and to convince state lawmakers to side with them.

“My son in the third grade was reading two years below the reading level, and I was told he had a learning disability,” Joe Herrera, a charter school father, says in the campaign’s first TV commercial. “I made the choice to put him in a charter school. Within the first three months, he moved up a year in reading level.”

The mayor, who wants to charge rent to charter schools housed in public school buildings, held firm Tuesday, saying he needs to concentrate resources on the 95 percent of city students in public schools. He took issue with the Bloomberg administration’s coddling of charter schools.

“Certain charter operators were favored,” de Blasio told reporters. “We don’t do that, and if that’s what is generating this advertising campaign — that a privileged few will continue to be favored — they can advertise all they want. It’s not going to affect my view of the world.”

But Herrera, standing outside P.S. 130 in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, told Kramer that de Blasio should be able to relate to concerned charter school parents.

“Mr. de Blasio, we’re parents,” said Herrera, of Coney Island. “We don’t really care about the politics behind charters and traditional public schools and magnet and parochial. The only thing parents want is a great education for our children, and I have found that. And being a father, he should understand what that is and what that means.’

De Blasio was at P.S. 130 arguing that he’s “ready to launch” his universal prekindergarten program this fall if Albany grants him the right to raises taxes on the wealthy.

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