In a desperate bid to bolster his totally unsuccessful presidential campaign, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio attempted to blame charter schools for the educational issues that his city faces.
The only problem with this approach is that the facts completely contradict all Mayor de Blasio’s claims. Local statistics show that while only 25% of African American kids enrolled in public schools in New York could pass the state math test, nearly 60% of African American kids in charter schools managed to do so.
In fact, every single eighth-grader in a charter school in the Bronx recently earned a perfect score on New York’s algebra exam, a noteworthy feat considering the fact that this particular school is located in the poorest district in the entire country. In contrast, 50% of kids attending public schools in New York failed the very same test. It’s also worth noting that Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to throw money at his city’s public-school system have produced no noticeable results. In fact, the city spent a whopping $800 million on “fast and intense” improvements in the traditional public-school system but to no avail.
Sadly, Mayor de Blasio’s prejudices and his desire to cozy up to progressive voters who vehemently oppose charter schools is ruining the lives of tens of thousands of poor children in New York City. At present, there are 123,000 children in NYC who attend private schools; more children would certainly join if they could get a seat, but they can’t thanks to the fact that de Blasio and his progressive cronies in City Hall are stubbornly refusing to allow new charter schools to open in the city.
While public school teacher unions in New York were likely pleased with Mayor de Blasio’s heated remarks, his comments were met by wrath by savvy local news outlets. The New York Post is calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to remove Bill de Blasio from office using rules outlined in the City Charter and New York State constitution. The New York Daily News pointedly called out the mayor’s hypocrisy, noting that de Blasio had the financial wherewithal to buy a home in a wealthy area and send his children to outstanding schools, something which cannot be said for the millions of parents who are struggling financially.
While Mayor de Blasio has literally no chance of ever winning the Democratic primary for the presidency, the sad fact is that he is hardly the only Democrat candidate who is opposed to successful charter schools.
Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to ban for-profit charter schools outright, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke have pledged that for-profit charter schools won’t get any federal funding. Former Vice-President Joe Biden says that for-profit charter schools should be obligated to enroll disabled and economically disadvantaged children, but should be provided absolutely no funding for doing so, a move that would bankrupt charter schools throughout the nation.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio seems to have been speaking for his entire party when he recently told an audience that he hates charter schools. Unfortunately, it isn’t the mayor and his fellow charter school haters who will suffer from a lack of school choice for their kids. Rather, it is poor, disadvantaged students who are stuck in failing public school districts.
Hopefully, parents with financial problems who struggle to provide their children with a decent education will see through the Democratic Party’s hatred of non-public school options.