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March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
New York City Mayor,
Michael Bloomberg, recently announced that he will personally fund the creation of four charter schools in
New York City. The announcement was welcomed by
New York financier and education philanthropist,
Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, a long-time supporter of Bloomberg, has financed numerous charter schools across the country including the Maya Angelou schools in
Washington DC, the highly acclaimed Bard High School Early College in
New York City and the Harlem Link Charter School.
Bloomberg's funding will come through his foundation, the Young Men's Initiative, which is also funded by
Open Society Foundations. Once approved by the state Board of Regents, the co-ed charter high schools will open in
September 2014, alongside four public schools in five high-poverty neighborhoods: in
Queens and East Harlem. Both the public and charter schools will share a board of trustees, with
Melanie Hartzog, a former City Hall official for Health and Human Services, as a proposed member.
"The Mayor has a keen sense of what's needed to run a charter school,"
Jeffrey Epstein noted, whose own foundation also has a long history of supporting early education and Head Start programs. "Bloomberg oversees numerous charter schools and understands how to optimize fiscal and academic standards."
So far, there are mixed reviews about Bloomberg's initiative. Supporters of charter schools cite the expansion of a successful alternative to the public system, while others criticize the frequent closings of charters as well as the partial use of public tax dollars to manage the schools.