Education

Principals Endorse Bill Thompson for Mayor

June 19, 2013

Bill Thompson campaigning in Brooklyn

Bill Thompson (r.) on the streets talking with Brooklynites


By Marc Bussanich

New York, NY—The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators endorsed Bill Thompson for mayor because they believe he has the right plan for affordable housing, creating jobs and early childhood education.

Ernest Logan, president of the union that represents nearly 16,000 public school principals and administrators, said that he and Mr. Thompson don’t always see eye-to-eye on educational issues, such as the deployment of police officers in public schools under a Thompson administration, but respects Mr. Thompson’s collaborative approach.

“We find Mr. Thompson to be collaborative; he was the only candidate to say at our mayoral forum in January that he respects school leaders,” said Logan.

Mr. Thompson said he wants to make sure as mayor that the city’s public schools work for all working families.

“My plan calls for investing in early childhood education, creating a new class-to-job pipeline and rewarding teachers for innovation. My plan will build trust, respect and collaboration with principals, teachers and parents,” said Thompson.

The incoming mayoral administration will have to contend with the divisive issue of co-locating charter schools within public school buildings, which critics say contributes to pronounced education inequities because public schools lack upgrades while charter schools benefit from renovations and new equipment.

Mr. Thompson isn’t opposed to charter schools, saying that charter schools can be laboratories for innovation. But he also said he would end the ongoing practice of charter schools receiving more resources at the expense of public schools.

Charter schools in the city are almost entirely non-union, and Mr. Logan was asked whether he was concerned about Mr. Thompson’s charter school policy.

“We don’t agree on everything. I don’t think anyone agrees with someone 100 percent of the time,” said Logan.

According to Mr. Logan, about 40 percent of the delegates of the union’s executive board agreed to endorse Mr. Thompson for the next mayor of New York City, while the remaining voted for the other mayorals in the race. 

Logan noted that Mr. Thompson’s position on other issues mattered in the union’s endorsement.

“We’re bigger than just education. Our members care about jobs, housing and protecting the middle class.”

When asked how many affordable housing units he would preserve and create as mayor, Mr. Thompson said he’d model his plan on a Mitchell-Lama-type program, which has about 45,000 units.

“We’ll be rolling out an exact number in the upcoming weeks,” Thompson said.

Follow Marc Bussanich on Twitter marc@laborpress.org

June 19, 2013

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