Opposing the successful expansion of charter schools in New York is racist, supporters say

The New York Post has come out with a detailed exposé on New York City’s successful charter schools and how black students who attend them significantly outperform their public school counterparts, which has politicians from both sides of the aisle claiming it is racist to hold them back.

According to data reported by the New York Post, charter schools provide families of color with far more educational choices. But that doesn’t stop leftist politicians and teachers’ unions that wield tremendous power from making the blatantly false claim that the schools siphon off resources from the public education system.

The charter schools took the kids that people said couldn’t learn. These kids are getting scholarships and going to college,” Democratic former Gov. David Paterson asserted. He notably helped increase the number of charter schools in New York back in 2010.

On the other side of the political aisle, Republican former Governor Pataki told the New York Post that it is racist to not increase the number of charter schools out there.

“It’s immoral,” Pataki stated. He approved the 1998 state law that allowed charter schools to come into being in New York. “It is hypocritical of leftist Democrats to talk about income inequality and then prevent minority parents the opportunity to enroll their kids in a charter school.”

Ruben Diaz Sr., who is a Democratic former councilman and state senator, agreed that “it’s racist to stop charter schools. Stopping charter schools is against the benefit of black and Hispanic children,” according to The Post.

“Earlier this month, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul heated the debate by proposing to expand charter numbers, calling for allowing up to 85 more new privately run, publicly funded schools in the five boroughs,” the media outlet reported. “The Big Apple currently has 275 charters, vastly more than any other area of the state.”

The proposal angered some state lawmakers in Hochul’s party who rely on political donations from the anti-charter school teachers’ unions,” the New York Post added.

New York’s charter schools are funded by taxpayers but are governed by not-for-profit boards of trustees. That means they have the leeway to establish their policies and design curriculum free from oversight by the Department of Education.

The state holds charter schools accountable through a five-year “performance contract” that focuses on student achievement. If a school does not meet performance thresholds, they are shut down.

Approximately 15 percent of New York City public-school-age children attend charter schools that cover pre-K through 12th grade. The New York City Charter School Center posits that 80% of the 141,000 charter school students out there are economically disadvantaged. About 41% of charter school students are black and 49% are Hispanic, according to the New York Post.

It costs roughly $35,941 to send a child to public school in New York City, according to the Citizens Budget Committee. To send a student to a charter school costs less than half that amount… $17,626 according to the New York City Charter School Center.

Yomika Bennett, who is the executive director of the New York Charter School Association, believes that charter schools seem to be able to do more with much less because “when it’s your [school] and you start this, you are all in.”

“Charter schools are better for our community, the black community. … They are fighting hard to see our children succeed,” Amina Mamah-Trawill told the New York Post. She is a certified nursing assistant whose 6-year-old son, Sudais Mohammed Bashiru, is in first grade at Success Academy Bronx 2 in the Claremont Village section.

“The public school is not invested in the black community,” she asserted. “I feel like my community is neglected. It’s not OK. It’s not fair.”

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