New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to rescind approval for the establishment of three charter schools has parents worried the mayor will leave their kids out on the street. “I would love for our son to be like Dante,” one parent told the New York Post, referencing the mayor’s son, who attends the high-end Brooklyn Tech High School.
The Post, which has chronicled much of the outrage against de Blasio for everything from forcing children to go to school in the middle of a blizzard to his bizarre insistence on taxing rich New Yorkers for a program that doesn’t need the money, found parents irate at the mayor. One mother complained that the mayor was “playing politics with my children,” suggesting that charter schools were helping some children at the expense of others.
Another had a much more pressing matter in explaining the situation to her child: “I’m very upset because my daughter is crying.” She said her daughter was so happy at the school that the idea of having to explain to her that she had to leave was difficult to her, implying the move was unnecessary on de Blasio’s part. That mother, 46-year-old Suzan Hudson, called de Blasio’s decision to prevent charter school expansion and revoke permission for several others to use public buildings “ridiculous” and “crazy.”
The Post notes that this, much like de Blasio’s plan to tax wealthy New Yorkers in order to fund a universal pre-Kindergarten program that already has funding, is not a plan that seems to have much support from Albany. Governor Andrew Cuomo went on the radio this week to praise charter schools and Mayor Bloomberg directly for “significant contributions” to the improvement of education. Bloomberg had approved three of the schools whose plans de Blasio revisited and rejected.
The tension between the mayor and the governor on charter schools reflects the same dynamic as that between them regarding universal pre-Kindergarten. Upon hearing that de Blasio intended to fulfill his campaign promise of taxing those making more than $500,000 to fund a pre-K program, Governor Cuomo suggested that such a tax was not needed and that the state had the money to fund the program. Other prominent Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer refused to endorse de Blasio’s plan. But de Blasio seems to have refused to give money, if not directly, insisting on the tax. The move has alienated many Democrats and led the Post to describe de Blasio’s politics as “stumbling about like a drunk.“