FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2018
STATEMENT FROM NYC CHARTER SCHOOL CENTER CEO JAMES MERRIMAN ON UFT BUDGET TESTIMONY
(New York, NY) – Today, at the Joint Budget hearing in Albany on K-12 education, the UFT testified that charter school students should not see any increases in funding or support of any kind. The Independent Budget Office has consistently found that public charter schools are underfunded by thousands of dollars per student on average and that this funding inequality is likely to continue to grow. Meanwhile, the UFT continues to lobby to keep the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR), a pool of teachers that can never be fired even if none of the NYC DOE's 1,600 principals want to hire them. The ATR cost taxpayers $150 million in 2016-17, and seems destined to drain money from our classrooms in perpetuity.
Please credit the following statement to James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Center:
“If I ran an organization that was using its massive political muscle to force the New York City Department of Education to retain unqualified teachers to the tune of some $150 million a year, I suppose I’d also be looking for a scapegoat to divert attention away from such institutional malpractice. The UFT doesn’t represent the vast majority of charter school teachers and therefore it doesn’t care about charter school students, no matter how well these public schools are educating them.”
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