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StudentsFirstNY Weekly Education News Roundup: June 10-14, 2013

In this week's education news: mayoral candidates discuss the city’s charter school system while vying for an endorsement from the teachers union.

Mayoral Candidates Discuss Charters at Forum with Families for Excellent Schools

WNYC // June 13, 2013

Families for Excellent Schools organized a forum that hosted mayoral candidates Anthony Weiner, Christine Quinn, Sal Albanese, and John Liu to discuss their views on charter schools. Candidates Bill Thompson and Bill de Blasio cancelled their scheduled appearance at the debat,  citing scheduling issues.

WNYC’s SchoolBook reports on the forum:

[Weiner] said if it turns out it’s good for children to use space in a school building for a charter he’s for it, but if it turns out it’s better for a music or chemistry lab, he’s for that, too.

Similarly, neither Quinn nor Weiner would rule out the option of closing a failing school. Quinn, who called school closings a “tragedy” for communities, explained, “I can’t promise you we’re never going to close the school when I’m Mayor.”

By contrast, former Councilman Sal Albanese and Comptroller John Liu took a harder line against school closings and co-locations. Both called for more community involvement before moving a charter into a regular school building. And Liu was booed when he said charters should pay rent if they move into district school buildings.

Mayoral Candidates Chose Teacher Union Over Majority of New Yorkers

New York Post // June 13, 2013

Mayoral candidate John Liu shared that he does not approve of charter schools at a recent forum sponsored by Families for Excellent Schools, despite the schools receiving overwhelming support from New Yorkers. Candidates Bill Thompson and Bill de Blasio, though noticeably absent, are known to hold the same view and are hoping to receive an endorsement from the teachers union. At the same forum Mayoral candidates Anthony Weiner and Christine Quinn seemed wary in expressing their support for charter schools. 

According to the New York Post:

There’s no question New Yorkers want charters. In a new Zogby poll commissioned by the Manhattan Institute, 86 percent of likely city voters said parents should have more options for their kids — of which charters are the most compelling example. At one charter school recently, 12,500 applicants applied for 1,400 slots.

But there’s also no question that the teachers union — which is set to announce its endorsement any day — finds charters anathema. So anyone hoping for that endorsement will be more than willing to give the 86 percent the shaft.

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