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School Choice & Charters

The Man Who Could Be New York’s Next Governor

By Michele McNeil — March 11, 2008 1 min read

Given the problems that have befallen New York’s caped crusader against corruption, Eliot “Client No. 9" Spitzer, it seems appropriate to examine what’s at stake for education, and the guy who might replace him.

New York is at a pivotal point in education, as Gov. Spitzer has championed and succeeded in investing more money in public schools—prompted by court rulings declaring that the state wasn’t spending enough money to provide kids with an adequate education. At the same time, he’s demanded accountability in exchange for that money.

There’s no indication Democrat Lt. Gov. David Paterson (pictured) would halt the momentum should he become governor in the wake of the Spitzer scandal. When I traveled to Albany for stories on Spitzer’s school-funding plans, Paterson was always nearby to show his support.

What’s more, Paterson, who is legally blind, also has been a champion for students with disabilities.

He’s also been a supporter of charter schools, and in this 2006 New York Observer story, earned praised from voucher advocate Clint Bolick for being a friend of school choice. However, if you keep reading, you’ll see that while Paterson supports the idea of choice, he’s not particularly keen on the tactics of the school-choice movement.

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