Educators are condemning Governor Andrew Cuomo for the teacher bashing comments he made to the Daily News. Even State union President Karen Magee responded positively to a letter Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino wrote to teachers.
Astorino appears to be better than Cuomo on education but he is not with us on way too many issues including the expansion of charter schools and public money going to private schools. This is from his education plan:
-"Provide more school choices for parents of children in schools determined to be failing, including more charter school availability and vouchers for private or religious school." This is not our friend.
There is no doubt in this election who has the best education plan and that is the Green Party's Howie Hawkins.
ICE-UFT has unanimously endorsed Hawkins, so did MORE, as have a group of NYSUT locals including the Buffalo Federation of Teachers and our friends at the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association.
Hawkins and his Lt. Governor running mate Brian Jones pledge to support public education and worker rights. You can read their letter to teachers here.
MORE lays out the positions of the candidates rather well in this chart.
As for how to respond to Cuomo labeling public schools a monopoly, we need to call him out on it. Cuomo would replace that so called monopoly with a rigged game where families can choose a charter school but the charter can counsel students out if they don't fit in and guess who has to educate everyone the charters don't want: the public schools. His plan, if implemented, would probably end up leading to the re-segregation of the schools. Public education is a constitutional right in this state. We cannot let Andrew Cuomo dismantle one of the bedrocks of our republic.
Cuomo's sole defender in the education union world right about now is the one and only AFT President Randi Weingarten, as reported in Capital NY. No surprise there.
I'm voting for Howie Hawkins for Governor and Brian Jones for Lt. Governor and ICE urges our supporters to do the same. I don't agree with everything they have ever said or done but clearly in this election they are easily the best option for those who care about public schools.