Talking points were no match for reality as new data suggested white conservatives weren’t alone in supporting school choice, even in a Democratic stronghold.
As leftists continually push for diversity, inclusion and equity, too often arguments against their proposals are treated as bigoted and racist. Now, with New York days away from approving the fiscal year’s budget, parents are calling for Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to make room for more charter schools by lifting the current cap, and that included a majority of blacks, Hispanics, and Democratic voters alike.
Citing a poll conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group for the pro-charter organization StudentsFirstNY between March 3-14, the New York Post reported that 64 percent of Democratic voters were in favor of expanding access to charter schools.
“As you may know,” the research and consulting firm said, “the state has set a cap on the number of charter schools allowed to open, and New York City has reached that limit. That means that no more charter schools can be authorized to open, even if parents want them and the schools go through a rigorous review process.”
The poll of 1,094 Democratic voters also found that 75 percent of Hispanics and 60 percent of blacks favored lifting the cap, a move that Hochul herself has signaled favor toward.
“It’s hard to get New Yorkers to agree on anything. But in crucial districts across the city, the verdict is clear,” StudentsFirstNY executive director Crystal McQueen-Taylor said. “New Yorkers — especially black and brown New Yorkers, who have been chronically underserved by our education system — overwhelmingly support parents’ right to choose the right kind of public education for their children.”
As it happened, 90 percent of students enrolled throughout New York City’s 275 charter schools were reportedly either black or Hispanic. With that fact in mind, McQueen-Taylor had said, “As budget negotiations reach a fever pitch, Albany should stay focused on the facts: a cap lift is what parents want, and students deserve.”
More than 1,000 charter school advocates were said to have gathered at City Hall earlier this month, including parents, to voice their support for charter schools.
Arlene Rosa, @StudentsFirstNY member and parent of spoke in front of parents, advocates, and elected officials: “parents like me deserve options… I hope Albany can hear me loud and clear, raise the cap today!" #NYCNeedsMoreCharters pic.twitter.com/BB1d3BvUjB
— StudentsFirstNY (@StudentsFirstNY) March 7, 2023
The reason parents favor school choice is clear enough as districts throughout the country, with a focus on critical race theory, queer theory or other Marxist ideologies rather than traditional reading, writing and arithmetic, have seen a steady degradation in student performance. In fact, according to a report from the Daily Mail, multiple studies have shown that for the first time in a century, IQ scores have dropped with the largest decrease measured in those aged 18-22.
In other words, students fresh out of K-12 government-run education are measurably underperforming previous generations.
Of little surprise, the United Federation of Teachers, who have shown their preference toward protecting their union stranglehold on education rather than actually doing what’s best for teaching, spoke out against the findings because charter schools were beyond their purview. They claimed, “79% of New York City voters rejected expanding charters and siphoning money from their own local neighborhood public schools.”
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