ALBANY - Thousands of advocates traveled to the state's capital city Tuesday for competing education rallies, with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking out in favor of his pre-kindergarten plan and Gov. Andrew Cuomo touting charter schools.
De Blasio made his fourth trip to the state's capital city since taking office in January, this time to make his pitch for a tax on the wealthy to fund full-day, universal pre-K in his city. He spoke at a rally near the state Capitol.
Cuomo, meanwhile, spoke at a charter school rally on the Capitol steps.
The governor is opposed to de Blasio's tax plan, instead calling on the state to fund a pre-K expansion with existing funds. De Blasio is opposed to charter schools.
De Blasio and Cuomo are scheduled to meet in private Tuesday afternoon, while de Blasio will also meet separately with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan; Senate Co-Leaders Skelos and Jeff Klein, D-Bronx; and Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers.
The competing rallies Tuesday came as the state Assembly continued to wrestle with another hot-button education issue -- the Common Core, the tougher education standards being implemented in New York and more than 40 other states.
Assembly Democrats met in private Monday evening to discuss a bill that would place a two-year moratorium on using Common Core-based test scores on teacher evaluation while preventing them from being used in deciding whether to promote a student to the next grade level.
On Tuesday, Silver said the bill has picked up 72 co-sponsors in the 150-seat chamber. He said the Assembly wouldn't be voting on the bill Tuesday, however, and that some tweaks to the legislation could still be made.