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City Hall promises charter leaders a second meeting, no money

Charter school leaders concerned about frozen budgets got a friendly hearing at City Hall Tuesday. But they didn’t get any promises that officials will follow their call to unfreeze their budgets. And the mayor himself did not show up.

Instead, Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott offered to schedule a second meeting with the leaders of the schools to continue discussing their request.

I explained the outlines of charter leaders’ request earlier this week. The gist is they want the city not only to lobby on their behalf in Albany — but also, if lawmakers decide to freeze charter school budgets anyway, to make up the difference from its own coffers.

A reader who attended the meeting sent over the above photos from it. They show a strong turnout from a community that once shied away from politics, but followed the lead of more outspoken leaders when Michael Bloomberg ran for reelection last year and when mayoral control of schools came up for renewal.

The more politically active leaders — Eva Moskowitz, of the Success Charter Network in Harlem; Seth Andrew, of Democracy Prep in Harlem; and Stacey Gauthier, of Renaissance Charter School in Queens — made personal appearances. The heads of the largest networks — Uncommon Schools, KIPP, and Achievement First — sent representatives from their charter management organizations.

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