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Former New York Governors David Paterson and George Pataki call for more charters to help minorities

Two former New York governors told the Post they were pushing for more charter schools to give minorities a fighting chance in education.

Former Gov. David Paterson, a black Harlem native, helped boost the number of charter schools in the state more than a decade ago — and applauds Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal for more as a victory for black students.

“There was a racist view that black students were inferior. Charter schools blew that racist view out the window,” Paterson said.

“The fight over charter schools is one of the disputes that breaks my heart. We don’t think about the end product – the kids,” he said. “Charter schools deserve the accolades they receive. They do a great job.

Former three-term governor George Pataki, who approved the law originally allowing charter schools in the state in 1998, said it was “absolutely” racist for elected officials to block the expansion of schools. alternative schools funded by the state and operated by the private sector.

Governor Kathy Hochul is pushing to increase the number of charter schools.
Julia Nikhinson – CNP

Former Governor Pataki
Ex-Governor Pataki says it’s “absolutely” racist to oppose more charters.
Serhii Hudak / Avalon

“It’s immoral,” he said. “It is outrageous that the legislator primarily prevents minority parents from having the opportunity to improve the education of their children.

“It’s just discrimination and injustice…and there’s no excuse.

“Education is the civil rights issue of our time,” Pataki said.

“Opponents of charter schools do so at the behest of the teachers union and the educational institution. The democratic left is so indebted to the teachers union and the educational institution.

“The next time left-leaning Democrats complain about income inequality, hold them accountable and ask them why they don’t support increasing charter schools.

“The charter schools have launched an experiment. The experiment was a success. Children learn.

“There is no reason for the cap to exist.”

Paterson recalled going to an event in Harlem, where a charter school was holding a lottery to select students, and seeing the anguish on the faces of parents whose children were not chosen.

“Parents who didn’t come in gave me a hard time. I don’t remember having received such a reception,” he recalls.

Former Governor David Paterson
Former Gov. David Paterson said the city’s charter schools are “doing a great job.”
Getty Images/Cindy Ord

“I feel bad for charter schools that have been approved and are languishing on waiting lists to open,” the former government said. “We have to put politics aside and do what works and don’t do what doesn’t.

“The legislature should give the governor some leeway. What Governor Hochul is proposing is a good idea.

Paterson’s thoughts were echoed by Ruben Diaz Sr., a former Democratic adviser and state senator who was one of the few elected officials who championed charter schools while in office and still does in the head of the Bronx-based Hispanic Clergy Association.

“It’s racist to shut down charter schools,” Diaz said.

“The legislature is controlled by black and Hispanic lawmakers, and they are fighting charter schools. Charter schools help black and Hispanic children. We need Governor Hochul and the Legislature to grow charter schools, not stop them.


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