Charter school supporters who quietly backed Bill de Blasio’s mayoral bid despite de Blasio’s stances on charter schools are treading cautiously this morning.
In statements, leading charter school advocates say they are looking forward to working with de Blasio and are confident that he will not go through with any policy changes that would adversely affect the sector. De Blasio has said he would charge rent to some charter schools that occupy space in public school buildings and has said the city does not need more charter schools to open.
Here’s what New York City Charter School Center CEO James Merriman said:
We congratulate Mayor-Elect de Blasio on a resounding victory. His message of uniting all New Yorkers clearly resonated with voters. As campaigning now shifts to governing, there is no better place to make good on that promise than by improving public education,which we know the Mayor-Elect will work tirelessly on.New York City’s charter schools, some of which are among the city’s best public schools, offer clear examples of how to deliver a high quality education to all students—so much so that currently 50,000 families are on wait lists to enroll their children in one. We stand ready and willing to work with the next administration and our district counterparts to promote policies that help great public schools, both district and charter, to flourish, as well as offer meaningful support to those that continue to struggle.
And here’s what National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Nina Rees said:
I’d like to congratulate Mayor-elect de Blasio on his victory this evening. In the coming weeks and months as he develops his plans for New York City schools, I urge him to consider the vital role public charter schools play in educating some of the city’s most vulnerable students. As reports continue to show, charter schools are responsible for significant gains in academic achievement and help prepare students for college and career. Important lessons can be drawn from the practices of high-quality charter schools and shared with the broader public school system to help improve student learning.
Public charter schools are an important addition to New York City’s public school landscape, and the children and families that attend them are counting on their mayor to ensure these schools remain available. I encourage Mayor-elect de Blasio to ensure that public charter schools receive the same access to school buildings as all other public schools.