New York State United Teachers is seeking your views on several important questions raised by the upcoming Success Academy event. As a matter of policy, should Success Academy Charter Schools, Inc., as taxpayer-funded public schools, be permitted to close their doors and transport students, parents and staff to Albany for a rally? Even if they use substantial private funds, is this the “right thing for students?”
“If school boards and superintendents in the state’s nearly 700 school districts also wish to close en masse for a day and transport thousands of their students, parents and staff to Albany to lobby for additional state funding, would that be permissible? Would you consider closing traditional public schools for a rally to be good public policy and the ” right thing” for all students?”
Cuomo is of course on the charter school payroll, with charter operators and their supporters contributing significant amounts of money to both his campaign coffers and the state Democratic Party coffers (which has used that money to run ads promoting Cuomo and his agenda.)
He's also expressed much adminration for both charter schools and the people who own, er, run them.
So if I had to guess, I'd say he isn't upset at all that charter operators are closing their schools and heading up to Albany for some made-for-TV PR.
Especially since Cuomo himself was "pivotal" in last years "Let's Close Schools And Cheer For Charter Schools Rally" in Albany:
It was a frigid February day in Albany, and leaders of New York City’s charter school movement were anxious. They had gone to the capital to court lawmakers, but despite a boisterous showing by parents, there seemed to be little clarity about the future of their schools.
Then, as they were preparing to head home, an intermediary called with a message: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wanted to meet.
To their surprise, Mr. Cuomo offered them 45 minutes of his time, in a private conference room. He told them he shared their concern about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambivalence toward charter schools and offered to help, according to a person who attended but did not want to be identified as having compromised the privacy of the meeting.
In the days that followed, the governor’s interest seemed to intensify. He instructed charter advocates to organize a large rally in Albany, the person said. The advocates delivered, bringing thousands of parents and students, many of them black, Hispanic, and from low-income communities, to the capital in early March, and eclipsing a pivotal rally for Mr. de Blasio taking place at virtually the same time.
At his prekindergarten rally, before a smaller crowd at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany, Mr. de Blasio spoke about the value of early education. Not far away, a much larger crowd of charter school supporters was gathered on the steps of the State Capitol. In an act that his aides later said was spontaneous, Mr. Cuomo joined the mass of parents and students.
“You are not alone,” he told the roaring crowd. “We will save charter schools.”
I'm glad to see NYSUT trying to put pressure on Tisch and Cuomo over the pro-charter rally, but these people are beyond shame, so I doubt it will get much of a reaction from them.
However it is good to get the news out there that charters are closing their doors on a school day and busing the kids up to Albany for a political rally.
Would the politicians who will speak at the pro-charter rally be so matter-if-fact if public schools closed on a school day and bused everybody up to Albany for a pro-public school rally?
I hope that question makes it into the press coverage of the pro-charter rally this week.