Merryl Tisch stepped down as chair of the New York State Board of Regents at the end of her term in the spring of this year.

She recently gave an interview where she expressed her support for nonpublic education. Her view was similar to the plan put forward later by Donald Trump: The public should pay for religious and private schools. The story appeared originally in, which is behind a paywall.

Tisch calls for increased charter, parochial school affordability

By KESHIA CLUKEY 09/07/16 02:57 PM EDT Updated 09/07/16 03:25 PM EDT

Former state Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch touted the need for school choice and increased access to charter and parochial schools on Wednesday, even in the form of an education tax credit.

Tisch told John Gambling on “AM 970 THE ANSWER” that politics often impede good practice, saying there needs to be a “more affordable” option. “[L]et choice be charter choice, be parochial choice, give families the opportunity to move their children forward, give them the opportunity to have a real ability to access high quality education for their children, and these communities will rise up,” she said.

Tisch, who championed the roll out of the Common Core learning standards, stepped down after 20 years on the board when her term ended in March.

She said Wednesday there is a need for healthy competition for public schools, and described the success some of the well-funded charter school networks are having in terms of student results. “The charter schools in New York City are outpacing the educational gains from around the state,” she said.

However, spots at charter and parochial schools can be difficult to get, charter seats being determined through a lottery system and parochial spots being a matter of affordability. Tisch told a story about a mother she met who had twins, and only one of them was able to get a spot in the charter school. A report from the New York City Charter School Center released Tuesday found that nearly 45,000 city students are on charter school wait lists.

“This notion that we deny choice when the choice is so stark between performance and non-performance to me is criminal,” Tisch said.

She mentioned current tax credit legislation as a possible option. That legislation would provide a credit for donations made to public and nonprofit schools and scholarship funds. The measure, however, has failed to make it through the teachers’ union-aligned, Democratic-lead state Assembly.

Both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Republican-lead Senate have pushed for the credit, though their versions vary, with the Senate’s, for example, including donations made to charter schools.

Regardless of the type of school, Tisch said schools need to be made affordable so parents, especially those in struggling communities, can chose what is best for their children.

“To deliberately go out of your way to force a family to send a child to a school which, more often than not, has failed not only that child, but also the parents of that child, and to just continue to allow it to go on like this to me is a real crime,” Tisch said.

Listen to the full interview here:

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated what the tax credit legislation under consideration would do. It would provide a credit for donations to public and nonprofit schools, as well as scholarship funds.

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