Thousands of parents, teachers and students marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Tuesday morning in support of the city’s charter schools.
The marchers were also reportedly concerned over some of Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio’s educational proposals, which they feel could negatively impact charter schools if he becomes mayor.
Those ideas include his proposal to charge rent to charter schools that use space in city school buildings and his support for a moratorium on charter school co-locations with traditional public schools.
Proponents of charters schools fear these policies could limit the number of charter schools in the city.
Ending co-location and putting a moratorium on charter schools will “destroy charter schools in this city,” said de Blasio’s Republican opponent in the race, Joe Lhota.
He has proposed doubling the number of charter schools, saying they have been an “enormous success.” Lhota has also said he would like to expand co-location.
“If you oppose charter schools and other choices for minorities, inner city kids, and children of immigrants, you cannot call yourself progressive,” he said at a speech to the Association for a Better New York before joining a rally following the march.
“The majority of the children in charter schools are from that other city Bill de Blasio likes [to] tell tales of, yet their voices today fall on his deaf ears,” he added.