The battle has begun about whether to lift the cap on charter schools in New York City.

New York City has 235 charter schools serving 123,000 students (about 10% of those enrolled in public schools) and there are no empty slots for additional charters unless the legislature raises the cap.  Governor Cuomo, flush with hedge fund cash from his last campaign, wants to raise the charter cap.

Now billionaire Merryl Tisch, who previously was Chancellor of the New York Board of Regents and is now on the board of the State University  of New York, proposed that the city be allowed to use some of the 99 open charter slots from the rest of the state. 

Under Tisch’s leadership at the Regents, New York won a Race to the Top grant of $700 million, hired John King as State Commissioner, committed to evaluate teachers by the test scores of their students, and adopted the Common Core and PARCC Testing. Tisch set off the Opt Out Movement, and she also hired MaryEllen Elia from Hillsborough County in Florida, which was part of the Gates Foundation’s failed experiment with VAM (value-added measurement) of teachers.

We are told that the waiting list for admission to charters in NYC is very, very long.

So think about this:

If there is a long waiting list, as Merryl Tisch says, why do charters hire a marketing firm to send recruiting letters to children in public schools? Why are they moaning about not having access to the public school names and addresses? Why don’t they just accept kids from the waiting list? Is there a waiting list? Maybe there are actually vacancies, as in Los Angeles, where 80% of the charters have empty seats. Even Eva Moskowitz needs access to public school names for recruitment purposes.

Would someone please audit that alleged waiting list?