StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis writes for the Daily News discussing the importance of charter schools for families with limited options:
Mayor de Blasio has vowed to end the tale of two cities, or at least to narrow the gap between the 99% and the 1%. One part of that gap is educational choice.
The wealthiest New Yorkers have an array of options — paying for private school, moving to a neighborhood with better schools or even moving outside New York City.
In the past, poor students were stuck with attending their zoned school whether or not it met their needs. Charter schools help to level the playing field by giving choice to the 99%. The families of 70,000 students have chosen to send them to charters in the city, deciding this was a better option. Of the students benefiting from this opportunity, 93% are African-American or Latino. Three-fourths receive free or reduced-price lunch.
But there are many in the 99% who still don’t have choice. There are 50,000 students on waiting lists for charter schools.
De Blasio should be credited for listening to the parents of the 50,000 students in need of pre-K. He should also listen to the demands of the families of an equal number of students on charter waiting lists.