Left-handed lawmakers fight Hochul at NYC charter schools after blocking chief justice choice

Weeks after a state Senate committee rejected her candidacy for Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court, Gov. Kathy Hochul is once again facing fierce opposition from progressive lawmakers and labor unions, this time over her proposal to allow more charter houses to reopen. schools in New York.

Opposition from fellow Democrats – some of them backed by a leading teachers’ union – could spell another political disaster for Hole, who last month became the first governor in state history to be voted down.

Several lawmakers who opposed her selection as Chief Justice, Hector LaSalle, are now criticizing her budget proposal, which would allow more than 275 charter schools to open in New York while maintaining a cap of 460 statewide.

“We have enough charter schools in New York and we don’t need any more…hell no,” State Senator Robert Jackson (D-Manhattan) said Friday outside City Hall.

Joining Jackson in debunking the idea are anti-LaSalle state senators John Liu (D-Queens), Shelley Meyer (D-Yonkers), Jessica Ramos (D-Queens), Cordell Clear (D-Manhattan), and Jabari Breesport (D -Manhattan). – Brooklyn).

“While the governor is giving full funding with one hand…she is tearing the carpet out of [another] by potentially diverting money to charter schools, and that’s wrong,” said Liu, who chairs the New York City Senate Committee on Education.

The legislators were also joined by Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which has 140,000 members citywide.

In the fight for charter schools, Hochul is up against the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the state union that represents the UFT and gave $25,000 to Senate Democrats on Jan. 13. The union has also supported Hole’s campaign for a full term and Liu, Mayer and Clear in the past, among other lawmakers.

Thousands of dollars of campaign cash highlights what the NYSUT can bring to the fight as the governor seeks to reassert his power in Albany after the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected LaSalle, whose nomination was also opposed by powerful unions such as the 1199SEIU and 32BJ.

“The political calculation is inexplicable. The administration seems to be looking for opportunities to lose friends,” an Albany insider said.

Support for charter schools positions Hochul, who beat Republican Lee Zeldin 53% to 47% last November, as a relative centrist compared to left-wing lawmakers, along with her efforts to overhaul bail laws and her failed bid to make LaSalle the first Hispanic. to be chaired by the New York Judiciary.

Hochul’s proposals, including reissuing charters owned by so-called zombie schools that are no longer operating, could allow roughly 100 more charters to open across the city in the coming years if included in the state budget by April 1.

“I believe that every student deserves a quality education, and we are proposing to provide New York families with more options and opportunities to succeed,” Hochul said in a Feb. 1 statement before releasing her proposed budget.

Charter supporters such as Eva Moskowitz, founder of Success Academies, praised the efforts that followed Hochul’s pledge during a televised debate ahead of the November election to support an increase in the charter cap.

On the other hand, there are concerns that this may [happen]said Moskowitz, who has fought elected leaders like Liu and Jackson for years over charters. “Parents are fed up, and they are not going to just accept everything that is offered to them.”

As with the seemingly doomed candidacy that Hochul has yet to formally vacate by refusing to talk about his next steps, a struggling governor could score points in a key Democratic constituency due to charters despite in the short term will lose to legislators, experts say.

“She clearly believes in the challenge and sees her path to success now and in 2026 for re-election against the state’s dominant legislature, which does not support and opposes charter schools – still quite popular in minority communities,” The Post told The Post. political consultant Hank Scheinkopf. .

But Hochul risks another political setback by starting a fight with teachers and their legislative allies so soon in her newly won term, according to one Democratic source.

“You have almost a whole conference of lawmakers in the Senate who want to tie him to the governor because of LaSalle, and this is another chance to do it,” the source said.

One Democratic MP suggested that Hochul would backtrack on efforts to expand charter schools—backed by some campaign sponsors—during budget talks with State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​(Yonkers) and Assembly Speaker Carl Histie (Bronx). .

“She has to go through petitions,” the deputy said.

A Hochul spokesperson did not immediately comment on Sunday as criticism of the charter school proposal from members of the state Senate intensified.

An Albany insider expected that Hole’s charter proposals were unlikely to receive a friendly reception from the supermajority in the Assembly, which has traditionally opposed attempts to allow more charters in the five boroughs.

“The Assembly has traditionally been a bulwark against charter expansion. It’s a thumbs up in the speaker’s eye,” the source said.

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