NYSUT: 400 Charter Schools is ‘Ridiculous’

ALBANY—A plan to double the number of charter schools is not getting a warm reception from two education groups that just sued David Paterson.

“There are ways of doing it, of raising the cap and also of raising some of the problems they’re having with charter schools. Any thing is discussable. We haven’t said, ‘No’ to anything,” said Alan Lubin, NYSUT’s executive vice president, just said. “I think to raise it to 400 would be ridiculous. There are so many ways you could work things out without throwing buck shot out there.”

“I will tell you we’re very concerned about raising the cap to 400,” said Tim Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association. “You’re basically creating a parallel public school system that is going to have tremendous costs and tremendous bureaucracy running parallel to the existing school system. And they’re also even talking about one charter allowing for multiple schools. So, it’s not just 400 schools. It could be 800 schools. It could be 1,200 schools. That’s an enormous competition against a public schools system that we have in place right now and a huge drain on resources in those districts that would need those moneys most.”

David Paterson said he would support such a move, which was recommended by the state Board of Regents. It has been introduced by State Senator Malcolm Smith. It’s unclear where Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver stands on the issue.