Cantor may launch charter school probe against de Blasio
WASHINGTON — Mayor de Blasio’s anti-charter school pronouncements could get him investigated by Congress before he even moves into Gracie Mansion.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a strong school choice proponent, laced into de Blasio Wednesday and hinted he’d use his office to try to discourage a rollback of New York City’s education reforms.
“Mayor de Blasio should abandon this plan and allow New York’s charter schools to continue to flourish,” Cantor said in a speech at the liberal Brookings Institution, which found New York finished second in the nation in a study on school choice and competition..
Then he appeared to dangle a threat.
“Our committees in the House will remain vigilant in their efforts to ensure no one from the government stands in the schoolhouse door between any child and a good education,” he said.
NYC Mayor Bill de BlasioPhoto: G.N. Miller
De Blasio has called for a moratorium on new charter schools and wants to charge rent to the wealthier ones located within public buildings.
Cantor mentioned de Blasio’s comments, saying “To me that’s in direct conflict to federal programs that exist.”
Cantor was deliberately vague about what actions Congress might take, mentioning possible Education Committee hearings. Beyond the leverage of the “power of the purse,” there isn’t much Congress could do to stop a city from dialing back charter schools.
De Blasio hit back hard.
“I don’t particularly look for education advice from Eric Cantor. We have a real difference on how this country should go going forward. I respect him as a member of Congress, but I think he’s dead wrong on this issue.”