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Mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia wants Albany to expand the number of New York City charter schools, she said Monday.
“I do support raising the charter cap because I want every kid to have the opportunity,” Garcia told a virtual candidate forum for charter school parents and supporters on Monday night.
The former sanitation commissioner said the cap had become a “political football” for leaders in Albany and City Hall to lob back and forth, and called the never-ending debate “not particularly helpful to kids.”
“I’m going to stand up for you,” Garcia told charter parents, professing her desire for all public schools — charter or otherwise — to succeed.
“Because you’re a charter school does not mean that I think you’re being selfish,” she said. “It’s become too political, like you’re not pure enough on this or that. I just don’t feel that way.”
Garcia’s comments put her with Ray McGuire as the only Democratic mayoral candidates to express full-throated support for raising the cap, which could not be done without approval from state leaders in Albany.
“I would lift the charter caps, the waiting list is way too long,” McGuire said during his appearance at Monday’s forum, which was hosted by Civic Builders and the Achievement First and Democracy Prep charter school networks.
“For those who are on the waiting list they ought to have the opportunity to make sure that they get the same quality education,” McGuire said. “We need to lift the cap immediately so that every neighborhood has a choice of good schools.”
But entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who rounded out the three candidates at Monday’s forum, stopped short of committing to lifting the cap. Instead, Yang said he would start by opening nee schools with dormant charter licenses.
“That’s my first move, to try and get those already authorized charters used,” the former presidential candidate said. “And then we can figure out what the next steps are.”
Yang’s position echoed that of fellow polling leader Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who was absent from Monday’s forum despite being backed by a pro-charter Super PAC.
Adams told The Post earlier this month that the city should “identify those charter schools that are failing and those are the schools we need to replace with the schools who are doing a good job.”
Incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio is a longtime charter school antagonist.
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