NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is controversy in the New York Legislature about plans to increase the number of charter schools in the state.

Now, the city’s largest teachers union is weighing in.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, the union said there are 2,500 vacant seats in New York City’s charters schools. That’s why it wants to put the brakes on plans for more.

“You can’t claim you need more space when you have thousands of empty seats right now,” said Michael Mulgrew.

Mulgrew is the president of the United Federation of Teachers. He called claims of waiting lists for charters an illusion.

“If you have these lists, let an outside auditor come look at them,” he said. “Let them see what is actually going on.”

Charter supporters contend more charters are needed to provide options for kids in failing schools.

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