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Charter school backers decline offer to apologize to NAACP

A small window of opportunity to resume settlement talks between dueling sides in the charter school co-location lawsuit has been slammed shut.

On Tuesday, an attorney for the teachers union publicly invited charter school supporters to discuss a deal on the condition that the group apologize for staging rallies against the NAACP, which is a fellow plaintiff along with the union. Today, a group of those supporters released a strongly worded statement declining the offer.

The union attorney, Charles Moerdler, made his comments after Tuesday’s hearing. Moerdler called the negative sentiment that has surrounded NAACP’s involvement in the lawsuit “disgraceful.”

“What they did to they NAACP is one of the most disgraceful acts I’ve ever seen,” Moerdler said, referring to a large rally organized last month. “This is an entity that made our education what it was. They opened the boundaries and cleared the way for people to get an education.”

He then presented NAACP’s critics a way out: Apologize.

“They’re not sitting with me until they apologize to the NAACP,” he said. “I don’t even want to talk to them.”

But a statement released this afternoon and attributed to Joe Williams, of Democrats for Education Reform, James Merriman, of New York City Charter School Center and Eva Moskowitz, of Success Charter Network, makes it clear that no apology is coming:

“While the leadership of the UFT and New York City chapter of the NAACP have demanded an apology from the same charter schools that their lawsuit threatens to close before even sitting down to talk, the only people who should be apologizing are those trying to deny families the right to choose the best education for their kids.”

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