April 2, 2014

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Cuomo 1, De Blasio 0.

The first round of Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fight over the city’s charter schools has ended with a decisive victory for Cuomo. De Blasio made hay during the campaign with his pledge to end the city’s practice of allowing charter schools rent-free access to public school facilities. But the new budget deal that passed yesterday in Albany takes the matter out of his hands, requiring all cities to provide space, free of charge, to charter schools if it is available. If not, the cities will be required to pay up to $40 million in rent to install them at alternative accommodations. Even more pointedly, it explicitly authorizes the three Success Academy schools that de Blasio rejected earlier this month. . . .

De Blasio and Cuomo are still on good terms in public, and the Mayor has taken pains to say that these new developments will not derail his plans. But this is a major blow to his education agenda. Less than six months after winning on an anti-charter platform, de Blasio’s New York City will be even more hospitable to charter schools than it was under Bloomberg.

The contest between Cuomo and De Blasio is the contest between the suicidal and non-suicidal wings of the Democratic Party.