A new TV spot by the pro-charter coalition Education Reform Now debuted today, three days before the state has to officially declare whether it will submit a bid for Race to the Top round two.
The ad, which features unnamed people (some charter parents, some not) criticizing the state legislature for not lifting the state’s charter cap, promotes the idea that the cap was a major reason for New York’s loss in round one. The state placed 15 out of 16 finalists. State education officials have already said that they intend to reapply and that while lifting the cap would help their chances, other measures such as tying test scores to tenure would also give the state a needed boost.
Teachers union president Michael Mulgrew told the Daily News today that the attack ad was full of “blatant lies.”
In January, state officials asked the legislature to lift the cap on charter schools, but lawmakers froze, in large part because of opposition from the state teachers union. Union leaders have refused to endorse a charter cap lift without significant changes to how the schools are opened and run that charter supporters say would destroy the schools.
Education Reform Now is a coalition of three pro-charter advocacy groups: Democrats for Education Reform, New York State Charter School Association, and the New York City Charter School Center.
The script of the ad follows.
Parent: When I heard that we did not get the $700 million in school aid from President Obama, I was really angry. Parent: I was speechless. Parent: I couldn’t believe it. Parent: $700 million dollars. Parent: Schools definitely need the money now, especially since their budgets keep getting slashed. Parent: Albany can still make this right. Parent: We can get the $700 million, if Albany just passes the reforms. Parent: Like allowing more charter schools. Parent: Albany’s listening much to much to the teachers union. Parent: Stop listening to the teachers union. Parent: Listen to parents. Parent: Speak for children. Parent: And make decisions that are going to benefit the kids.