Skelos says he'll defend NYC charter schools against de Blasio

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ALBANY - State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos is rushing to the defense of charter schools he said are threatened by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said Monday he will defend charter schools in New York City against de Blasio by wielding the powerful state budget process.

And as an exclamation point, Skelos said de Blasio’s proposal to raise a city income tax to pay for his prekindergarten expansion is off the table.

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De Blasio has denied classroom space and capital dollars to some charter schools. The liberal Democrat has said he wants to put money toward improving traditional public schools, rather than spending more on charter schools.

Charter schools are public schools operated by private entities that experiment with longer school days and years and other innovations. A charter school must show success or its charter can be dissolved after five years.

Skelos said he will tie budget talks for the prekindergarten expansion sought by de Blasio with the Senate Republicans’ defense of charter schools.

The mayor depends on the legislature and the state budget for many of the city's fiscal needs.

Republicans share control of the Senate with the Independent Democratic Conference, which is close to de Blasio.

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