Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, March 2, 2015

NYSUT Writes To Cuomo, Tisch To Ask Why Charter Operators Get To Cancel School For A Political Rally

Via State of Politics, here is part of the letter Karen Magee and Andy Pallotta sent to Cuomo, Tisch and the shill who's filling in temporarilty for John King:

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. 

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.


  1. I am beyond sick of the "Charter schools are public schools" propaganda put out by folks like Evil Moskowitz. Charter schools get away with closing schools to bus kids to engage in a political rally. This is not something that a regular district school can get away with. Charter schools also engage in blatant corporal punishment. (Marching kids up and down stairs in silence as punishment, making misbehaving kids wear different colored uniform shirts, etc) Charter schools are for the most part non-union where as every single district school in NYS is union. Charter schools do not provide for NYS pensions. The list goes on and on. The fact is that charter schools get public money but operate as they are some type of cabal that is accountable to nobody except the hedge funders who back them.

  2. And let's not forget that charters score their Regents in-house, which is an invitation to breaking the law against falsifying grades. Shouldn't somebody check to see if charters are just as corrupt as regular schools were in the good old days?

  3. It's time for our legislators to start taking out lawsuits against the owners and/or operators of the charter schools, and to follow legal action against them with legal action against those who granted them "charters" to operate...right on up to Tisch and Cuomo...subject to huge fines and lengthy prison terms...Perhaps their crimes are not only against the people of New York, but they should also be investigated for criminal actions against the United States as well.

  4. I'm glad too NYSUT is exposing the unfair charter practices, I just wish NYSUT would stop using "Hello Kitty" letterhead and get a bit tougher.