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Charter supporters outline priorities for next mayor

A day after charter school advocates held a rally to support charter schools, the Coalition for Education Equality wrote an open letter to the next mayor detailing the priorities of charter school families.

Their requests include ensuring charter schools can co-locate with district schools without paying rent and asking the next mayor to open 100 new charter schools within first four years of his term.

Read the full letter below:

To the next Mayor of New York City,

As public school parents who are 17,000 strong, we believe that every child in our city has a right to a free, quality public school education. We march because charter public schools provide this opportunity for our children, and our schools deserve equal treatment under the law. We march for our neighbors and friends on waitlists who are anxiously hoping to access such quality schools. We march for the hundreds of thousands of New York City parents who deserve more charter public schools in their neighborhoods.

We are writing to begin a dialogue with you regarding policies we believe are critical to advancing education equality. In particular, we write to you with a sense of urgency: in your first 100 days and beyond, make a great charter public school an option for every interested family.

A recent Siena College/New York Times poll found that an overwhelming majority of New York City residents support growing access to charter schools. Fully two-thirds of low-income New Yorkers agree. At this critical juncture, we respectfully urge you to take the perspective of all city residents into account and make expanded access a priority.

In particular, we urge you to do the following:

1. In your first 100 days, direct your Schools Chancellor to allow charter public schools, like district public schools and selective public schools, to co-locate in city buildings. Do not charge any of these schools a fee.2. Publicly support the opening of 100 co-located charter schools during your tenure, a number that will serve the 50,000 families on charter waitlists and bring diverse school choices to families.

We submit these policy proposals because we believe New York City is and should continue to be a national model for providing families with a diverse set of school choices for their children. Our vision for the city is likely no different than yours: we envision a city where every child, no matter their zip code or socioeconomic background, gets a fair shot in our public schools and in life. A city where education can be a crucial driver in reducing the divide between rich and poor.

We invite you to visit any one of our schools to see first-hand the work we’re doing as public schools. We are eager to work with you to make our schools the best they can be, and we look forward to working with you, together, to accomplish just that.

Sincerely,

The Coalition for Education Equality

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