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Principals union endorses Thompson, despite disagreements

A day before the teachers union is set to endorse a mayoral candidate, New York City’s principals union has backed former Board of Education president Bill Thompson while acknowledging that they don’t agree on all policy issues.

“I don’t know if we’ll always agree on what’s best,” said Ernest Logan, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators. “But that’s the difference here — having someone talk to you and be collaborative and listen to you.”

He added about Thompson, “He respects school leaders … and we’re not getting that” under Bloomberg.

Logan signaled that the union’s executive board was not at all unanimous in its decision. Thompson had twice as many votes as the next closest candidate, Logan said, but he won just 40 percent of the board’s vote.

The UFT’s endorsement is due out Wednesday afternoon. A CSA spokeswoman, Chiara Coletti, said the unions had not consulted each other on their picks. The last time the UFT and CSA endorsed the same candidates was in 2001, when both endorsed then-Public Advocate Mark Green in the general election. But the principals union stepped out in 2005 to endorse Fernando Ferrer for mayor, when the UFT sat out the election completely.

Logan said his union had been “encouraged by [Thompson’s] promise to call a moratorium on the co-location of new schools within older ones.” While Thompson has called for a temporary ban on charter school co-locations, he has also cozied up to the charter sector by supporting its expansion and declining, as some other candidates have, to call for charter schools that operate in city-owned buildings to pay rent.

Other reasons CSA chose Thompson, Logan said, include his pledges to cede control of the Panel for Education Policy, install an educator as chancellor, and return power to community superintendents.

The union endorsement confers cachet for the candidate, and it also suggests that CSA will work to turn out its members to campaign for Thompson. Logan said he would do everything he could to help Thompson get elected.

When Logan was asked what separates Thompson from mayoral candidate and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio — another top contender for tomorrow’s UFT endorsement — Logan said, “Bill and Bill… have always been good friends of public education. … What separates them is our members have voted to endorse Bill Thompson.”