Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised to fully fund charter schools and help them thrive just days after Mayor Bill de Blasio cut some resources to those schools in the city.
"I am committed to ensuring charter schools have the financial capacity, the physical space, and the government support to thrive and to grow," Cuomo said yesterday.
Cuomo's unexpected comments came days after de Blasio reversed decisions by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to allow three charter schools to operate in district school buildings.
It was de Blasio's first move to fulfill a pledge to curb the growth of the alternative publicly funded schools run by private companies.
The targeted facilities are part of the Success Academy Charter Schools system, founded by former City Council member Eva Moskowitz, whom de Blasio criticized during his campaign.
"There is nothing more important for our children than their education, and that's why we will not compromise," Cuomo said.
In further interplay yesterday between the state's top two Democratic executives, top legislators strongly allied with de Blasio appeared to be open to Cuomo's plan to fund a statewide expansion of prekindergarten with state funds.
De Blasio has said he wants to pay for a city expansion with an income tax increase on the wealthy, which is opposed by Cuomo.
Cuomo made his charter school comments in a rare appearance at a rally.
The outdoor rally at the Capitol by charter school students, parents, teachers and advocates was held at the same time de Blasio held one in a former state armory a few blocks away to bolster support for his pre-kindergarten plan.
Afterward, De Blasio met with Cuomo for nearly two hours behind closed doors at the Capitol.
De Blasio downplayed Cuomo's promise to charter schools. "I only saw a few lines of his speech," de Blasio said of the charter school speech widely distributed by Cuomo's office by video and transcript. "I think he kept his remarks broad."