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Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, laughs during a news conference to announce details of a newly renovated Madison Square Garden in New York, October 24, 2013. Over a billion dollars was spent on the three year, top-to-bottom renovation.  REUTERS/Carlo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has struck a budget deal with Republican legislators that includes unprecedented new giveaways to charter schools, particularly in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio had threatened to modestly rein them in. Diane Ravitch sums it up:
The private corporations that manage charter schools in New York City will never have to pay for using public space.

The de Blasio administration must offer space to all charters approved in the dying days of the Bloomberg administration. De Blasio had previously approved 14 of 17; now he must approve all 17. Whatever Eva Moskowitz wants, Eva gets.

The charters located inside public school buildings may expand as much as they wish, and the mayor can’t stop them. If this means pushing out children with severe disabilities, so be it. If it means taking control of the entire building and pushing all of the students out of their public school, so be it.

If a charter chooses to rent private space, the New York City public schools must pay their rent. Where will the money come from? Well, the public schools can always increase class size, or they can lay off social workers and counselors and psychologists. Or they could cut back on the arts. That’s their problem.

So the privately run schools that serve six percent of the students in the city get to make decisions over the city's elected mayor and the best interests of the other 94 percent of students. These are chains that pay their executives more than the city's education chancellor. Chains that achieve their testing success (when they achieve it) by pushing out special needs kids, back into the public schools that the charters are taking space from; those public schools are also educating the homeless kids and English Language Learners that charters disproportionately do not educate. This is the system that Cuomo is working not just to protect but to expand, giving private companies rights over public property, giving schools that exclude the kids they don't want to educate rights over the schools that educate all kids. It's appalling.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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