$weet deal on UFT charter
See below for Peter Murphy's take on this – you just can't make up irony this fast:
Last Updated: 3:46 AM, July 6, 2011
The City Council awarded $2 million to the politically powerful United Federation of Teachers for its Brooklyn charter school amid intense negotiations with the union to avoid teacher layoffs.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Brooklyn Councilman Erik Dilan sponsored the allocation, to be distributed in Fiscal Year 2013.
The funds -- part of a $375 million capital-projects budget -- will be used to plan "a potential new building that would incorporate the UFT charter schools with a community center and health clinic" in East New York, union spokesman Peter Kadushin said.
The union's charter school shares space with traditional schools, and the money would help the school relocate to an independent location.
Council aides said the grant was being discussed months before negotiations with the UFT to avert Mayor Bloomberg's threatened 4,100 teacher layoffs.
The UFT and the council signed off on a deal to avoid layoffs by giving up a year of teacher sabbaticals, making both the union and Quinn look like victors in the budget battle.
Here's Murphy's comment:
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
The UFT and NYC Council - What's Irony Between Friends?
The New York Post reports today that the New York City United Federation of Teachers secured a $2 million grant from the City Council for a "potential new building" for the UFT Charter School in Brooklyn. The grant comes out of a $375 million capital funds budget.
Does this mean the UFT has dropped its lawsuit against the city's Department of Education to block new charter schools from sharing district school space?
In a word: Fuggedaboutit!
The lawsuit trots forward, while the UFT prepares makes plans for its $2 mil. Not for nothing is the UFT the big kahuna in the five boroughs, so much so that I doubt its leadership was worried about an image problem on this one. It already writes the script for city council members.
Now, I don't begrudge the UFT Charter School for getting facility money from the city; it's not the first charter school to benefit this way. Whatever means the city can assist charters locally to obtain facility space is welcome since charters otherwise get no facility support. It shouldn't stop now, as a lot more charters need that funding to secure facility space or the space itself.
This is a salient illustration, however, of the City Council being so in the tank to the teachers union that it apparently missed the irony of rewarding the same organization with charter money that is suing the city to undermine charter schools from obtaining facility space. More likely, the City Council didn't care. The UFT asked, and the City Council complied. Just another day at the office.
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