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New York City
August 2001

Do you support the charter schools program? Would you expand/limit it?

HB: I would support and expand charter schools, which have been approved by the legislature. These schools are still public schools. We donít have approval for school vouchers. Nobody is going to abolish the public school system. The thing to do is to improve the public schools.

MB: As Mayor, I would recognize and reward success by establishing charter districts. Eligible districts would be those that have demonstrated success in improving student achievement and a record of fiscal responsibility. There would be no increase in the districtís budget, but there would be freedom from bureaucratic meddling and the authority to purchase services such as transportation and supplies. We must continue to support the development of parent-initiated charter schools.

FF: I believe that charter schools play a useful role in our school system. They can be the laboratories of the school system, enabling us to discover new teaching strategies that will work for our children. I do not believe, however, that they are the panacea for the systemís ills. For the same reason, I am against the privatization of our public schools. Our system needs leadership, not experimentation with for-profit companies that have no proven record of increasing student achievement.

MG: Yes. I support the development of charter schools. For thousands of families, they represent another important frontier within the public school system.

AH: There are also 161 specialty schools. Yes, I support the charter schools. Itís the law and we can live with it. But, the devil is in the details. The great advantage to them is they provide the opportunity to have smaller schools. I donít think [private management] is necessary. I did not support the Edison takeover. I do not have the sense that private management is automatically any better than public management.

PV: I support charter schools, but I do not support the privatization of schools. I am not opposed to increasing the number of charter schools in the City, but I believe that we must continue to approve applications on a case-by-case basis.#

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