eva moskowitz

Politics & Policy

charter school expansion

Slamming the Exam

charter wars

Change of schedule

Budget Battle

course correction

The co-location situation

Follow the money

New York

At rally, charter parents stuck between Lhota and a hard place

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota greets young charter rally participants on Tuesday morning. For a full account of the charter school rally, see Geoff Decker's report here. Just before 11 a.m., Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota leaned down to eye level with five year old Kenyon Lovett, a student at Success Academy Cobble Hill. He wants to be an architect, his mom explained. "What do you want to build?" Lhota asked as dozens of reporters and curious parents pushed closer. "Is that the mayor?" another girl asked as she squirmed toward the candidate. Lhota basked in the attention from parents and students this morning at the end of their march across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of charter schools, greeting children and answering questions outside of City Hall Park an hour after delivering a speech at the Association for a Better New York touting his support for the charter sector. That position puts him at odds with Democratic frontrunner Bill de Blasio, who has advocated for capping the number of charter schools in the city and charging charter schools rent to operate in public buildings. At the rally, many parents admitted that they were perplexed about how to square their Democratic ties and their desire for a mayor who is friendly to the charter school movement. Kenyon's mother Yolanda White told reporters that she had never voted for a Republican. But Lhota's support for charters means that if she can convince herself that his policies are reasonable, "I have no problem jumping the line for him," she said.