Capitol Confidential notes the events here, mentioning that state aid for education is likely to increase by more than a $1 billion this year, which would be a record uptick - and that allowing for the creation of new public charter schools to help meet parental demand shouldn't be ignored in the equation.
From the press release from the NYC event:
The overwhelming majority of children served by public charter schools in New York are African-American and Latino and come from economically disadvantaged homes. By any objective measure, these schools are succeeding at higher levels than the traditional public schools most of these children would otherwise attend. Now that the charter school cap is exhausted, thousands upon thousands of the city’s neediest children will be denied the education they are demanding – attendance in a quality public charter school.
With the overwhelming need for more charter schools, any delay in lifting the cap must be interpreted in only one way: pressure to maintain the status quo blocking expanded opportunity for kids who need it most.
“This is simply wrong. It is unconscionable to delay the expansion of opportunity to these children – especially when so many families in New York have so much educational opportunity,” said Geoffrey Canada, the event organizer and Harlem Children’s Zone President and CEO, “For the sake of our kids, the State must lift the charter school cap now. Our children need to be given more chances to succeed, and that’s what charter schools are all about. Our children deserve no less.”
Charter school facts:
-- 87% of charter school students are African-American or Latino.
-- 75% of charter school students are low-income.
-- Charter school students outscore peers at conventional public schools in their districts on the English Language Arts and Math tests in fourth and eighth grade.
-- This year, there are three times as many student applicants as available seats at New York City charter schools.
-- More than 25 groups have already submitted applications to the New York City Department of Education to open new charter schools in 2007.
UPDATE: Buffalo's WBEN covers the rallies here.
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