Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is planning a big roll-out today of plan to bridge some of the differences between the teacher’s union and the NAACP and charter school advocates over charters sharing space with traditional public schools.
Earlier this year, the UFT sued to prevent the Bloomberg administration from closing 22 schools and replacing them with 17 new charters, and in an interview earlier this morning with “Good Day New York” de Blasio with takes aim at the mayor for allowing the dispute to reach this point.
“As we often see with the Bloomberg administration, they have a plan, they won’t vary from that plan even when the people affected say, ‘hey, this isn’t working for my kids,” he said.
De Blasio also said that he believes charter schools can co-exist alongside traditional public schools.
Politically speaking, the teacher’s union remains a behemoth, but charter school advocates and parents have been getting more engaged and have been running candidates of their own. So far, it looked as if the bulk of their money was going to Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer or publishing executive Tom Allon.
In the interview with Greg Kelly, de Blasio also swatted away questions that his office, which, Kelly notes, only employs 30 people, has very little power.
“It has no muscle,” Kelly said.
“I am elected citywide,” de Blasio responded. “Literally by the electorate of the city. All 8.4 million people–that’s who I am elected to represent.”
When Kelly pushed him further, the public advocate responded, “It’s a democracy, Greg. That’s my answer to you. When the people of this city hear an alternative that they believe in, that’s where the actual power of this office is. To put forward solutions and get the public behind them.”
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