FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2010

Statement From Speaker Silver
Regarding Charter School Legislation


I am extremely proud of the Race to the Top application New York submitted today. We have advanced a broad set of reform proposals that will raise standards, make our tests more rigorous and help us to recruit, train and hold accountable our teachers and school leaders. The state's proposal is a road map to finally turning around New York's failing schools and closing the achievement gap.

I am disappointed that we were unable to reach an agreement on charter schools and strengthen New York's Race to the Top application.

The bill we put forth would double the number of charter schools across New York State while making them subject to greater accountability and transparency. Furthermore, charter schools would have to meet higher health and safety standards, serve our neediest children and meet the high performance standards set by the federal government.

I remain committed to working with our partners in government to authorize the creation of 200 additional charter schools while meeting these goals.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2010

Statement To New York City Media From Speaker Silver
Regarding Charter School Legislation


I am disappointed that we were unable to reach an agreement on charter schools and to strengthen New York's Race to the Top application.

The bill we put forth would have doubled the number of charter schools across New York State while insisting that they do more to educate English language learners and children with learning disabilities. It would also have put an end to divisive fights over school space by giving traditional public school parents a voice in the process when they are asked to give up classrooms to accommodate a new or expanding charter school in their school building.

Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein were willing to sacrifice the creation of 200 more charter schools rather than accept any limitation on their unchecked power to ignore the voices of parents and displace traditional public schools from existing classroom space.

I remain committed to working with our partners in government to authorize the creation of 200 additional charter schools that are high performing and subject to greater accountability, while serving our students in greatest need.