In New York state, the Assembly is led by Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the Assembly. In this interview, he expressed opposition to the State Senate’s bill to protect Eva Moskowitz and to assure that all of New York City’s nearly 200 charters get rent-free space in public school buildings. Eva has a chain of 22 charters. Mayor de Blasio just agreed to give her five more, but turned down three proposed charters for her chain. Two of those schools do not exist and have no pupils. The third will have to relocate 194 students.

Silver said about the State Senate’s proposal:

“This whole right of having a building around you — yet there’s thousands of children sitting in trailers in city public schools. Does anybody speak for their right?” Silver asked reporters during a rare visit to the Capitol’s press room. “They don’t have Wall Street billionaires who can put ads on, or contribute to campaigns, and therefore, nobody represents them and they’re doomed to sitting in trailers for the rest of their school career? That’s unfortunate. Some of that money, maybe, from all the advertising, would do well to build some buildings for a lot of students if they actually support them.”

If Silver acts on his views, the legislation won’t pass.

194 children were displaced from one of Eva Moskowitz’s 22 charters. Her chain, which spends millions on marketing, public relations, and advertising can easily afford to rent space for a school for them. The legislation proposed by the State Senate would guarantee
Eva the right to expand in a public school without regard to the children they displace and to stay there rent-free.

On the other side are 1.1 million children in the public schools, who have no billionaires to fight for them. They now depend on Speaker Silver to defend them from those who would bully their way into their schools, take away their art room, their dance room, their resource room for special education kids, their computer room, and any other space they choose.