Charter School Advocates Rally In Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two days after a teachers union-led protest of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education proposals, charter school advocates are making their views heard.

An estimated 13,000 people rallied at the state Capitol Wednesday for an end to what they say is the state’s failing schools crisis, according to the group Families for Excellent Schools.

Cuomo has proposed spending $1.1 billion more on schools next year if lawmakers pass his reforms. Among them is one to allow for more charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run.

That idea is opposed by the New York State United Teachers union, which staged a boisterous 1,000-person rally in Albany on Monday.

Wednesday’s event featured former WNBA player Lisa Leslie and singer Janelle Monae.

Dozens of parents and students from Success Academy Harlem 5 elementary school boarded buses bound for Albany where they demanded every child in the city have access to the highest possible education.

One mother said her daughter attends Success Academy and the school has made an amazing difference.

“She was going to another school and she was getting bullied and she was failing behind,” the woman told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “Now she’s in the first grade and she’s on the top of the list. She’s been rising. Every time they got a test, she’s getting nothing but hundreds and better. So it’s been everything. She’s confident, she’s happy every day coming to school.”

Meanwhile, some 1,000 public school teachers gathered for a lobbying day meant to fight Cuomo’s proposals, which also include tougher teacher evaluations and a teacher tenure overhaul.

Union President Karen Magee says Cuomo’s proposals are a disgraceful “attack” on teachers.

Some have criticized the Success Academy for shutting down 32 schools for a political type of protest, Schuck reported.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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