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Commentary By Bob McManus

With This Year's Budget, Cuomo Betrayed Charter Schools

Cities, Cities Tax & Budget, New York City

Gov. Cuomo, and even some charter-school advocates, are projecting Albany’s just-adopted budget as a modest win for the state’s hard-pressed school-choice movement. It is anything but.

Yes, the budget tosses a few bucks into the charters’ tin cup — ostensibly to close per-pupil funding disparities between New York City’s traditional public schools and its 216 charters.

This is as it should be. After all, charters are public schools too — and their students have as strong a moral claim on the public fisc as conventional pupils.

Alas, morality counts for little against the never-ending effort to scuttle school choice in New York. Thus the new budget manipulates future aid formulas in a way that one advocate says will cost city charters some $1.7 billion over the next several years.

That short-changing, along with the Legislature’s continuing refusal to raise New York’s statutory cap on new charter schools, marks a significant shift in strategy for school-choice opponents.

Hitherto, they fought the charter invasion right at the water’s edge. The teachers union and their elected retainers threw every obstacle at their command in front of charters. And they likely would have killed the baby in the cradle had it not been for hard-nosed charter champions like ex-Gov. George Pataki, former Mayor Mike Bloom­berg and his schools chancellor, Joel Klein — and, once upon a time, Andrew Cuomo.

But fighting retail didn’t work. New York City’s hugely innovative and deeply committed charter movement grew....

Read the entire piece here at the New York Post


Bob McManus is a contributing editor of City Journal. He retired as editorial page editor of the New York Post in 2013 and has since worked as a freelance editor, columnist, and writer.

This piece originally appeared in New York Post