(New York, NY) Dozens of public charter school parents from across New York City rallied outside the NYC Department of Education in support of a longstanding City initiative that allows charter schools to mail flyers to prospective families. New York City has a model program where it protects parent privacy so that no school has access to parent contact information, but parents can still be informed about school options in their neighborhood.
CEC members, who are not democratically elected and who do not represent charter school parents, want the City to halt the practice so parents by default send their children to zone schools because they don’t know about other options.
For the parents who attended Monday's rally, the information they received from mailers was crucial to helping them make informed choices about where to send their child to school. They don't understand why anyone, including Mayor de Blasio, would want to censor their choices:
"It wasn't until I received a postcard in the mail that I learned MESA Charter High School exists. That made me want to learn more, so I attended an information session. Now my daughter has graduated the school and my son is a high school junior. It all started with a simple postcard. Who would want to block me and other parents from getting this basic information?" - Wilfredo Duchi, MESA Charter High School
“Where I live in the Bronx, there’s not enough great schools for my daughter. Thankfully, I found Zeta Charter School and my daughter is getting the education she deserves. I don’t understand why anyone would want to prevent parents from learning about all their school options." Crystal Aponte, Zeta Charter School Parent
"Parents should have options and they should be informed about charter schools, to find the best options for their kids. I recently graduated from Achievement First Charter School, where I received a top education. Parents and students deserve to have a choice like I did." - Mia Felder, Achievement First Charter School Graduate
"Shutting this system of allowing charter schools to mail to parents down really hurts parents because knowledge is power. We need more parents with more knowledge about their school options." - James Laws, Success Academy Charter School Parent
"I’m here because the Mayor wants parents to be uninformed that they have a public school choice other than their zone school, which may be failing. Why shouldn’t parents be allowed to look at every option to find the best school for their child? School options make it better for everyone." - Kathryn Marrow, KIPP NYC Parent
Parents and students from Achievement First, MESA Charter High School, KIPP, Success Academies, Uncommon Schools and Zeta Charter Schools joined parent advocates from StudentsFirstNY, the New York City Charter School Center and the Coalition of Community Charter Schools at today's event.
The New York City Charter School Center has put together a very informative fact sheet about this issue that sets aside many of the myths about this program.