First lady Michelle Obama will visit a Washington, D.C., charter school on Tuesday afternoon. These public school alternatives, run with taxpayer dollars, are now legal in 42 states.
According to one recent report, charter school enrollment has grown 225 percent over the last 10 years and the number of schools has more than doubled. However, the issue is turning political in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking a stand to support existing public schools over charter schools.
Thousands of concerned parents from the city are traveling to New York State's capital on Tuesday, looking to draw attention to the plight of the charter school movement. It's a movement they believe is now under attack.
Maria Rodriguez has three children attending charter schools in the city. She told CBS News' Don Dahler it felt like winning the lottery when her children were admitted.
"I was excited. I jumped for joy. The kids were jumping because we all knew that once we paved the path with that one, that all the other siblings were able to get into this fantastic, phenomenal school," she said.
But, plans to expand their schools have been repealed by de Blasio, who said it's an effort ensure that public schools, which often share space with charter schools, get equal resources.
"We know in the past that some of the public schools that received charter schools coming into them actually saw their programming diminished, saw the dynamics for their kids diminished," de Blasio said during a press conference. "We don't want that imbalance, we don't want that unfairness."
The move is a sharp turn away from the pro-charter policies under de Blasio's predecessor Michael Bloomberg.
Eva Moskowitz is the Success Academy Charter Schools founder and chief executive officer. She runs some of the schools impacted by the reversal, which are some of the top performing schools in the state.
"We're in the top one percent in that state of New York in math and we're in the top 7 percent in reading and writing. And that is all schools. And our students in Harlem, in the South Bronx, in Bed-Stuy are significantly less socio-economically advantaged," said Moskowitz.
She told Dahler that she doesn't know what will happen to her students if the mayor does not reverse his decision.
More than 600 students in New York City could be impacted. Over 2.5 million students nationwide attend charter schools. In 2013, those schools added 288,000 new students, the largest increase in 14 years.
New York City schools chancellor Carmen Farina insists de Blasio still sees a place for them in his city, specifically "charter schools that add value - that work with us in terms of how do we make sure all kids are."
Farina added, "I'm in charge of 1.2 million kids as is Bill and I think we take that responsibility very seriously."
This political skirmish over charter schools comes at a time when de Blasio is promoting his major education platform, which is an effort to provide universal pre-kindergarten for all children in New York. He will also be traveling to the state's capital on Tuesday to fight for that program and its controversial funding plan to tax those making over $500,000 a year to pay for it.To watch Don Dahler's full report, watch the video in the player above