NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Public school and charter school parents are speaking out about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement Thursday to deny space to some charter schools.
The controversial move will prevent three Harlem Success Academy schools from setting up in public school buildings as planned. One is said to be the top performing middle school in the community.
As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Friday evening, the charters responded to the mayor’s decision with a biting attack ad.
“Mayor de Blasio talked about the tale of two cities, but yet he wants to take away options from the communities that need it the most,” a student in the ad said.
The mayor responded with a biting attack of his own, Kramer reported.
“Forgive me, I’m not going to buy into the conflict story du jour. I’m just not. I believe that there’s a much bigger thing going on here,” de Blasio said.
More than 90 charters from across the state, including the Success Academy Network of schools run by de Blasio rival Eva Moskowitz, said they will bring 2,500 parents and kids to Albany on Tuesday to seek help protecting charter schools.
As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, that happens to be the very day the mayor and city council members will be in the state capital to lobby for a tax on those making at least $500,000 to fund de Blasio’s universal pre-kindergarten plan.
The mayor said he’s not going to get involved with the sideshow.
“There are charter school leaders who are saying no way in hell would they go to Albany to march against pre-K and after school for the kids of our schools,” de Blasio said Friday.
Twenty-five charter schools won’t protest because they support the pre-K plan, Kramer reported.
“The previous administration’s policy of focusing on certain charter organizations and favoring them at the expense of other schools into which those charter schools were going, that’s not good educational policy,” de Blasio said.
“We need political leadership. we need someone to put kids in front of politics,” Moskowitz, CEO of Success Academy Network, said earlier Friday. “Public schools do not pay rent and we cannot have a discriminatory policy. Kids are kids are kids. They must be treated equally.”
Pundits said the conflict is costing de Blasio politically.
“He campaigned on this idea of a one New York bringing everybody together and it is very important that he takes care of the 95 percent of the kids in the public school. But it’s equally important that he take care of the 5 percent of students that have chosen to go on another path,” Iona College political science professor Jeanne Zaino said.
As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported on Friday, some public school parents rallied in support of the mayor’s move.