After announcing that three charter schools run by Success Academy would no longer be able to operate in city school space, New York City Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration would find a new location for the students affected by the decision.
"For the 194 kids, we have said explicitly we will find a location for them," de Blasio told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday.
Claiming there is "so much drama in political life," de Blasio said he had "never been against charter schools."
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He said the issue with Eva Moskowitz, founder of Success Academy Charter Schools, was not personal, and maintained the debate was not about Moskowitz or him but "about the kids."
"I respect her abilities, and I respect some of what she's achieved with kids," he said.
De Blasio announced in February he would no longer allow three schools run by Success Academy to continue to operate in city school buildings. While not all charter schools are successful, Success Academy performs among the highest in the state.
Most of the students who attend the charter schools are black or Hispanic. Maintaining that "charter schools are a part of the lineup" of the educational system, de Blasio said his concerns had to involve all children in New York's public school system.
"The whole educational structure, every piece of it, matters. I have to worry about 1.1 million kids a year. By the way, only 70,000 go to charters, but I care about those 70,000," he said.
De Blasio said disruption can happen when charter schools share a location with an existing school. He said the issue with Success Academy stemmed from decisions made by the previous administration of Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"What I disagree with is going into an existing school and disrupting what that school is trying to do. And that process was not handled right by the previous administration. We're going to reform that process, so you can do a co-location the right way," he said.
The bottom line, de Blasio said, was that they had to "fix the whole school system, so charters play a role in that. But a lot of other things have to happen."
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