March 11, 2014

New York Mayor Takes From Children

De Blasio doesn’t like the “strong private-sector element” behind good education.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have taken aim at salt, soda, and smoking, but current Mayor Bill de Blasio is setting his crosshairs on the city’s children. The mayor has revoked approval for three of the city’s charter schools to use free space in a public school building, leaving nearly 200 students with nowhere to learn. If that’s not bad enough, columnist Peggy Noonan writes, the mayor “has also cut and redirected the entire allotment for charter facility funding from the city’s capital budget,” providing stark evidence of his disregard for the 70,000 children, many from Hispanic and black families, who attend the city’s charter schools.

The problem isn’t that the privately run schools are failing; it’s that they’re succeeding, and all sans the power-hungry teachers union that controls the city’s public schools and, incidentally, supports de Blasio. Students at Success Academy, for example, routinely outperform the city average. Noonan notes, “Last year 82% of its students passed citywide math exams. Citywide the figure was 30%. These are schools that work. They are something to be proud of and encourage.” Which is why a leftist like de Blasio can’t abide them, primarily, he admits, because there is a “strong private-sector element” in their funding. Worse, some of it comes from his favorite whipping boys – wealthy Wall Street folks.

Some charter school parents have filed lawsuits against the mayor, claiming violation of students’ civil rights. Not to be outdone, extreme leftists are actually suing de Blasio for not shutting down even more schools. For his part, Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo is siding with the students, vowing, “We will save charter schools.” A commendable stand but one the Left will fight. After all, nothing says “children first” like kicking kids out to the educational curb because their school doesn’t bear the “government run, union-endorsed” seal of approval.

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