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De Blasio Changes Stance On Charter Schools As Part Of Mayoral Control Agreement

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is changing his tune on charter schools.

As CBS2's Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the shift comes as part of a deal to get a two-year extension of mayoral control from Albany.

De Blasio was never a fan of charter schools, but now he's a believer – or at least willing to publicly wave the white flag.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan apparently made him do it, Kramer reported. His stubborn insistence on charter school concessions in exchange for extending mayoral control brought de Blasio to the bargaining table.

"I feel like they think that charter schools are the quintessential red headed step child," Flanagan told Kramer last month.

"I said to Leader Flanagan, 'If you want to sit down, and chart out together a vision of where things are going, I welcome that,'" de Blasio countered.

On Thursday, City Hall explained what's in the deal, including an agreement that allows nearly two dozen new charter schools, MetroCards for charter students whose school year starts before the buses operate, more city funds to support the charters, and a promise to grant charters co-location space within 45 days "unless demonstrably unreasonable."

"The charter sector is an important partner in our mission to deliver an excellent education to every child in New York City," de Blasio said through a spokesperson.

The deal will cost New York City at least $10 million, including $3 million for the MetroCards.

Flanagan was gracious in his victory, thanking de Blasio for his "openness" in dealing with the issue and helping the 50,000 students on waiting lists get a seat inside a charter school.

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