Education

  It was the charter schools’ turn to rally at the State Capitol Wednesday in support of Governor Cuomo’s proposal to allow 100 more charter schools in New York.

Thousands of charter school students on 450 buses, along with their parents and teachers, came to the Capitol for a rally that was billed by organizers as a school field trip.  They heard nearly two hours of speeches, watched dance performances, and saw celebrities like Grammy winning singer Ashanti.

Among the speakers, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

Supporters of Governor Cuomo’s education tax credit were at the Capitol to persuade lawmakers that the credit, which would benefit donors to private and charter schools, should be approved as part of the state budget. 

With less than two months before the state budget is due, Governor Cuomo and education groups remain at odds, with the state teacher’s union calling the fight a “war,” and Cuomo calling the teachers and their allies a bloated bureaucracy.

New York State United Teachers, the state’s largest teachers union, uses military terms to describe the escalating argument with Governor Cuomo . In a video, NYSUT President Karen Magee says it’s the governor who has declared war on the union and the entire profession of teaching.

Governor Cuomo delivered his joint State of the State and budget message, proposing a $141.6 billion spending plan that in part sets up a show down with teachers and education advocates.

The governor wants 100 more charter schools and an overhaul of teacher evaluations, which he says are “baloney,” because virtually all teachers are rated as adequate.

“98% of the teachers rated effective,” Cuomo said. “Who are we kidding, my friends?”

One day before Governor Cuomo is expected to outline an overhaul of the state’s school system,  education groups launched a preemptive spin on what might be proposed.

Governor Cuomo, at a business breakfast, called teachers, school boards, and other advocates the most “sophisticated political machine” in state government, that is most concerned with getting more money. 

“And you know what it’s gotten us?” Cuomo asked. “A larger and larger bureaucracy, and higher salaries for the people who work in the education industry.”

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