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Universal Pre-K and Charter Schools spark debate

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Two politicians are lending their support to two educational programs: Governor Andrew Cuomo supported a Charter School rally in Washington D.C. and Governor Mayor Bill de Blasio came to Albany in hopes of funding pre-kindergarten programs in New York City. Although both politicians are Democrats, their interests in education vary greatly, according to Associated Press reports today (March 4). For more on this important story visit http://www.silive.com.

"De Blasio came to Albany to highlight his proposal to hike taxes on wealthy New Yorkers to fund universal pre-kindergarten and expanded after-school programs for middle schoolers. Even as de Blasio spoke to a few hundred people at an Albany armory, Cuomo spoke to what amounted to a dueling rally of more than 3,000 students and parents on the Capitol steps," added the report.

Mayor de Blasio has reversed support of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration to "give three charter schools rent-free space in public school buildings," added AP. While Cuomo is for Charter Schools, Mayor de Blasio has distanced himself from New York City's need to fund these schools. "While making no specific promises, Cuomo appeared at odds with de Blasio on charter schools," adds AP.

New York Governor Cuomo favors support of Charter Schools

"I am committed to ensuring charter schools have the financial capacity, the physical space and the government support to thrive and to grow," Cuomo told the crowd, according to the report.

"De Blasio has run into roadblock after roadblock at the state Capitol. He needs the approval of the state Legislature to raise taxes but many of Albany's powerbrokers have given no sign they are willing to do so in an election year," added AP.

"De Blasio, long a skeptic of charter schools, did allow 14 other charter schools to keep the space given to them by Bloomberg. The three that lost their space all are part of the Success Academy Charter School system, led by de Blasio's longtime political rival Eva Moskowitz," added AP reports.

"Moskowitz instructed her 22 schools to close Tuesday so students can join the protest. Several dozen other schools have joined Success Academy in a coalition that has unveiled a multi-million dollar ad campaign to object to de Blasio's decision," according to the report.

Staten Island teachers and parents tell us whether you feel pre-kindergarten or Charter School funding are the more pressing issues in New York City Schools? We welcome your comments and feedback!

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