Poll: New Yorkers Don’t Like De Blasio’s Education Policies

by Andrew Johnson

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been shaking up his predecessor Michael Bloomberg’s innovation- and charter-friendly education policies, and New Yorkers aren’t liking it, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

Barely more than a third of city residents, just 38 percent, support de Blasio’s education policies, and seem to be even more are at odds with his attitude toward charter schools specifically.

The survey comes amid recent controversy over the de Blasio administration’s blocking the “co-location” of three charter schools in existing public school buildings, leaving them without real estate next year that the Bloomberg administration had authorized.

Forty percent of residents think de Blasio should be doing more to increase the number of charter schools in the city, with only 14 percent saying he should be closing them (39 percent want to keep the current number). New Yorkers are split on whether charter schools should have to pay rent for using city buildings, with 44 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

Since taking office January 1, de Blasio’s approval rating has tumbled. He came into office with a 53–13 percent approval-disapproval rating, according to Quinnipiac, but a new Marist survey from this week now finds him at 45–34, while a Marist poll from earlier in the month found only 39 percent approving.

New Yorkers do seem to like de Blasio’s plans for universal pre-K, however: Large majorities think it would be “very” or “somewhat” effective in reducing poverty and improving education. Similar overwhelming numbers, however, support New York State’s paying for a system across the state; de Blasio wants to raise taxes on wealthy Gothamites to pay for a different, more-expensive program in the city.

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