Mayoral candidates’ views on NYC education

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Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota. Art <br /><figcaption id=Art by Maya Grodzka

Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota, the candidates in the 2013 Mayoral Race, have differing views when it comes to education.

Aspiring to put more funding into the New York City public school system in general, de Blasio plans to raise taxes from 3.86% to 4.3%, which will only impact those who receive an annual income of $500,000 or more. Lhota also wants to fund public schools, but through other means aside from taxation.

With these new funds, de Blasio plans to make pre-K programs universally available to city children.  Lhota claims that he can offer the same type of program without raising taxes, since “we’re the highest taxed city in the United States.”

On the issue of charter schools, de Blasio believes charter schools that share space with regular public schools should have to pay rent.  Lhota is a larger proponent of charter schools, hoping to increase the amount in the city during his tenure.

On the issue of standardized testing, both appeared negative on the subject. De Blasio commented that, “[They’re] poisoning our system.”  Lhota said, “We really need to work with our faculty and our teachers to have them not train for test. Train for the core competency of math and arts, as well as English and language.”

Regarding class size and teacher jobs, de Blasio said that he wants to hire more experienced teachers.  Lhota wants to institute a merit pay system that would reward teachers with bonuses for proven success in the classroom.  Claiming that high salary should be earned, he believes that it is the teacher’s responsibility to verify a child’s education. De Blasio has not yet expressed his formal opinions on this topic.

On at least one issue both appear to fully agree: students should be permitted to bring cell phones to school.