Why don't I like the charter deal? It's not just me. Last fall, and after 12 years of Bloomberg's veiled Republicanism, New York City elected Democrat Bill de Blasio in a landslide. De Blasio won 73% of the City's vote. Among many things he said in his campaign De Blasio promised to end Bloomberg's favoring charter schools over neighborhood schools. Cuomo's bill nullifies the City's election.
What's wrong with the charter deal? Besides the insult to the City's voters, there was the cynical last-minuteness of the deal. There was no public debate. The provisions were added to the budget deal on Friday, conveniently avoiding any major news cycles. And the budget was passed on Monday. (And seemingly just to emphasize the attack on the City's voters and the Mayor, the provisions affect only New York City and no other school district in New York State).
As to its substantive injustice: the deal gives new charter schools priority for space over the 1,000,000 kids in already overcrowded neighborhood and other regular public schools - effectively codifying Bloomberg's divisive strong arm administrative assault on neighborhood schools; and the bill unfairly exempts charters from paying rent.
From the NY Times:
“This is a land grab, a power grab,” said Diane Ravitch, an education historian who endorsed Mr. de Blasio during his campaign. “They loved mayoral control when it was Mayor Bloomberg, but now it’s a progressive mayor, and they’re gutting it.”More by about the charter deal from Laura Clawson and even me.
Other Attacks on Democrats
As for his history of betraying Democrats see last month's "Andrew Cuomo following Joe Lieberman path to presidency (from a guy named Kos). I keep a copy in my wallet. And this week there's Andrew Cuomo is just trolling now.
Here's a brief list of some of Cuomo's other betrayals of Democrats. He has not really helped fellow Democrats win the State Senate - indeed 5 State Senate Democrats caucus with the Republicans with no apparent consequence; Cuomo hasn't banned fracking and instead appointed a commission to 'study' (and maybe to stall until after he gets re-nominated?); and he has refused to really work for campaign finance reform - getting it done for only one statewide office (not his).
I'm looking for suggestions - who should primary him?
I'll run a poll after we have some names.
"Children entered a trailer at Intermediate School 125 in Woodside, Queens. The debate continues about how to make more permanent buildings for students. Credit Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times "
March 31, 2014