Gov. Cuomo says the fight to protect charter schools will be one of he biggest issues in the upcoming state budget negotiations.
In a slight jab at Mayor de Blasio, Cuomo said the charter school issue will trump the fight over prekindergarten expansion--declaring that latter battle over.
"We've been dealing about pre-k for a long time, but I think that's pretty well established," Cuomo told host Susan Arbetter Thursday during an appearance on public radio's "The Capitol Pressroom." "What we're going to do is what we said we were gong to do. We'll have a statewide pre-K program that will be funded by the state."
Cuomo said he wants to protect the charter school movement and, like the the Senate, wants to address the issue in the budget.
"The discussion on the charter schools is going to be powerful and is probably going to be one of the more controversial and complex matters that we wind up dealing with the budget," Cuomo said.
"The charter discussion is going to be new and it's going to be important."
Cuomo didn't give specifics on what changes he will seek for the charters other than saying it will include a mix of money and laws that say how the money is spent.
"This is more about the law, first of all," he said. "What protections do we have to make sure that charter schools continue if, in fact, the Legislature believes charter schools (should continue)" he said. "My position is going to be, yes they should continue and there continuation should be protected."
Cuomo said charter schools feel they are in jeopardy. Opponents don't have to get rid of the charter school law to stop the movement, he said. If charter schools are not given a location and are not given funding to find a location, Cuomo said, "then in essence the charter schools are out of business."
"You don't have to say I'm not building any more charter schools or authorizing any more charter schools, you just say, 'I can't find a location and I am not prepared to fund the school to find the location."
He noted that "theoretically," the state has the ability to charter a school. He wouldn't say specifically if that's the direction he wants to head.
"We're not going to be in a situation where charter schools stop--not if I have anything to do with it," he said.
Will charters have to abide by the same rules and regulations as public schools if they are guaranteed co-locations in public school buildings?
Right now Moskowitz says the state has no right to audit her finances because she is not a public school.
Her teachers are not evaluated using APPR.
She does not have to replace students who drop out of her schools.
Charter teachers get to grade their own Regents.
There is a whole host of issues on which the charter operators get a leg up on public schools.
Will they still maintain these benefits after they get co-locations and extra funding guaranteed by law?
Will Eva still get to say the state has no right to audit her because she is not a public school when she is being funded and located just like a public school?