The New York Daily News reports that pro-charter advocacy groups spent $3.6 million on attack ads against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to deny 3 charter applications to Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter chain (while approving 5 of her other applications). They spent these millions while claiming that they could not afford to pay the city rent for use of public space. Current state legislation says the charters “shall pay rent,” not “may pay rent.” De Blasio was acting on behalf of the 94% of students in overcrowded classrooms and overcrowded schools, while Eva’s schools are handsomely funded. She and her supporters believe that the high test scores the students obtain gives them the right to push handicapped children out of their classrooms and schools. Of course, the high test scores are obtained by excluding children with disabilities, taking half as many English language learners, and getting rid of kids with low scores before the testing begins.

The de Blasio administration was completely unprepared for this barrage of attack ads. The mayor never called a  press conference to refute the wild charges against his administration. He appeared on “Morning Joe,” where the talk show hosts battered him with hostile questions. There was no advertising campaign to explain that no one was being “evicted” from the two schools that had not yet opened, or that the one school that was denied the right to expand inside a public school building would have required the eviction of children who are severely disabled.

This note came from Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters:

Charter school lobby spent $3.6m in 3 wks on TV attack ads/claims charters can’t afford rent

This group is funded by the Walton Foundation; Marc Sternberg at DOE made sure Eva got all these co-locations just days before he left for the Walton Foundation.  Watch out other cities and states; this is what you face once you open the floodgates to charters.  They will attack for every dollar and inch of space in your schools.