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Blowing Hot and Cold

Elizabeth Green over at Gotham Schools has a great item about a Queens charter school whose leaders say its union didn't give it the heads-up that charter schools are likely to have their funding cut in the state budget. Here's her kicker:

"Most charter schools in New York City are not represented by teachers unions. ... But the union has fought to bring charter schools teachers into its fold. Their slow but steady inclusion has put the union in the tricky position of on the one hand lobbying for limits on charter schools, while, on the other hand, representing some charter school staff."

Randi Weingarten, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, the city teachers' union, said in a February letter that she did not support unequal cuts to charters vs. traditional public schools. Still, like performance-based pay, charters increasingly seem like an area in which unions in the Obama era are going to have to tread cautiously or risk being accused of blowing hot and cold.

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