New York City charter school advocates are planning a reprise of their 2012 rally that drew thousands of parents, students, and teachers to City Hall.
That rally was spearheaded in large part by Success Academy Charter Schools CEO Eva Moskowitz — to the chagrin of some charter school advocates — and aimed to show the city that the sector is a potent political force.
Over the weekend, Moskowitz told the parents of her network’s 4,600 students that they should plan to attend another rally Oct. 8, weeks before the city’s mayoral election. Parents “must” plan to accompany their children to a march across the Brooklyn Bridge that will replace the first half of the school day, Moskowitz explained in an email message, which GothamSchools obtained.
“Your child’s education is threatened. Our very existence is threatened. Opponents want to take away our funding and our facilities,” she wrote. “These attacks are a real danger — we cannot stand idly by.”
Democratic mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio has vowed to start charging rent to charter schools that occupy space in public school buildings. He has also called out Moskowitz specifically as receiving special treatment in getting public space from the Bloomberg administration. (Joe Lhota, the Republican candidate, would expand the charter sector.)
“There is no way in hell that Eva Moskowitz should get free rent, okay?” de Blasio said in June. “There are charters that are much, much better endowed in terms of resources than the public sector ever hoped to be. It is insult to injury to give them free rent. They should have to pay rent. They have the money.”
Moskowitz has been a divisive figure in more than just politics. Most city charter schools did not take part in the 2012 event, with some charter advocates citing her involvement as a reason for sitting the rally out. Instead, Success and the city’s other large charter networks supplied almost all of the participants.
Moskowitz’s full message to parents is below. We’ll have more on the rally, including about who plans to attend, soon.
Your child’s education is threatened. Our very existence is threatened. Opponents want to take away our funding and our facilities. These attacks are a real danger — we cannot stand idly by.
This is an outrage: There are hundreds of empty classrooms all across New York City, and more than 1,000 district schools share space without a complaint. Yet our opponents want to penalize our success — and are proposing legislation to do so.
These issues are tremendously important. If we lose ground – literally, if we lose access to public space – we cannot fulfill our commitment to you and your scholar.
Which is why you – you and your scholar, your friends and relatives – must join us on Tuesday, October 8 to march with other charter parents across the Brooklyn Bridge.
What: Parent March across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of charter schools and parent choice!
When: Tuesday, October 8, 7:30am-11:00am. Buses will pick you and your scholar up from school at morning arrival, and you will be dropped off at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn. We will delay the start of school until after the march.
Where: The march will start in Cadman Plaza, go across the Brooklyn Bridge, and end in City Hall Park (Downtown Manhattan). All families will then take a subway back to school after the march to drop off scholars for the rest of the school day.
Don’t let opponents of ed reform steal your children’s future. This is about your child, your choice. Your voice must be heard. We must show public officials that parents will fight for the right to choose excellent schools.
Founder and CEO
Success Academy Charter Schools