ALBANY—Two of the state’s top education leaders say there isn’t an urgent need to raise or eliminate the state’s cap on charter schools since a third of the available charters under the limit have not yet been awarded.
Education commissioner John King and State Senator John Flanagan, a Long Island Republican who chairs the chamber’s education committee, told Capital in separate interviews that they expect policymakers to discuss the charter cap during the coming legislative session, but don’t think immediate action is necessary.
Meanwhile, even as charter groups prepare for an intense push this session for action on the cap, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio hardened his opposition to raising it, arguing during an interview Wednesday that devoting more resources to fixing problems in traditional public schools is more important than allowing an "ever-increasing number of charters."
I have little doubt King wants more charters and I'm a little surprised he didn't echo Tisch's "aggressive" stance from earlier in the week.
Same goes for Flanagan.
Perhaps they're looking to moderate the rhetoric a little bit, so as not to make it look like the whole process is rigged when the inevitable cap increase comes.
As for de Blasio, it's good to hear him oppose a cap increase again and to indicate that he is going to lay down some political capital in the fight.
Will the AFT, UFT and NYSUT back him up or will they be helping their pro-charter school pal Andy Cuomo instead by staying on the sidelines when the showdown over the cap comes?