Trashing the schools, de Blasio will drive more New Yorkers out of the city

It's never a good sign for a city when it starts to see its population contracting.

But that seems to be New York mayor Bill de Blasio's plan, trashing the few little islands of good public school education in the great city, in the name of socialized outcomes.  He set up a commission of cronies, and those cronies recommended what he wanted them to recommend: that New York's charter and competitive schools be shut down in the name of "equality."  Now every school is set to be equally bad.  But the custodians will continue to draw $100,000 salaries.

Kyle Smith at the New York Post reports how bad it is:

When I first moved to New York City, in 1992, any time a middle- or upper-middle-class couple had a kid, you'd ask when they were moving to the suburbs because virtually none of the public schools were tolerable and only Wall Streeters can afford most private schools.

Today, dedicated New Yorkers have helped create solid DOE schools in certain well-off neighborhoods. Robust G&T programs, selective schools and charter schools — the privately run public schools which enroll more than 100,000 students, or 10 percent of the 1.1 million attendees of the country's largest public school system — have created many islands of possibility for parents who think their city kids should be educated as well as they would be in the suburbs.

More than nine out of 10 kids at the Success Academy charter network, the best of the lot, are students of color. But is de Blasio fighting to allow Success Academy to expand and build more islands? Of course not.

Although the DOE's own figures show vast amounts of unused space within existing schools — there is room for thousands of children in Brooklyn alone — he does everything he can to thwart the charters' expansion.

If de Blasio follows through on what the recent report demands and starts shuttering G&T [Gifted & Talented] programs and selective schools, or convinces Albany to destroy admissions standards at specialized high schools such as the one his son attended, would this solve the segregation problem? Nope.

The most demanding families, the ones for whom sending their kids to a failure factory is not an option, would simply abandon the city and move to the suburbs.

This is a vivid reminder that New York City and New York State already have a flight problem.  Two hundred seventy-seven people per day flee New York City, way more than are coming in, the highest flight in the nation, according to Bloomberg.

Statewise, 63,000 people fled in 2018, as a result of taxes.  People are fleeing from de Blasio's solid blue city as a result of de Blasio's stewardship and, more broadly, the solid blue state.  According to this report last April in the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin:

Population losses, which have previously been concentrated in upstate, are now spreading to the five boroughs, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley.

Most recently released Census Bureau estimates show Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau and Westchester counties lost population between July 2017 and July 2018. Even Manhattan showed a slight decline.

"In New York City and surrounding areas, domestic migration has changed from positive to negative," said Jan Vink of the Cornell University Program on Applied Demographics.

Statewide, the number of people calling New York home dropped by 48,500, a 0.25% decline to 19.5 million, over the most recent one year time frame measured by the Census Bureau. The nation witnessed 0.6% population growth. 

"Nine states lost population, New York being one of them," Vink said.

Something like that calls for a crisis reaction, to persuade people to stay.  Any normal mayor facing population loss, and the loss of the tax base, would double down to do that.

De Blasio, instead, goes the other way, giving New Yorkers an extra reason to flee the city and state. 

Is there any doubt the flight out will turn to a flood if he has his way and makes all New York City schools all equally horrible?  That's some tax planning he's got going.  Chase the tax base out, and wonder why the money runs out.  The people who leave are going to be some of New York City's most important tax contributors, and their numbers could make an impact every bit as significant if not more than those of the fat cats who pad the New York tax base.  And they sure as heck aren't going to be all white.  Education along with military service are the top routes for motivated underprivileged people of all colors to get the heck out of that kind of life. 

Chase out the productive, leave just the poor either too poor to leave or too indifferent to care.  All this, while demand for those competitive schools is way higher than what little the city already shells out for. A smart mayor would add more good schools to ensure that more residents stay in the city. De Blasio instead chooses to wreck what little is there. Kids shouldn't have to compete for high-grade education at all, with winners and losers. But de Blasio chooses to 'solve' that by stamping down even the most competitive and motivated. You can bet those people are going to get the heck out.

It all calls to mind that de Blasio is a socialist, and socialism not only creates shortages every time it's tried, it also creates flight. Motivated New Yorkers fleeing New York are not all that different from Cubans on leaky rafts sailing north or Venezuelans spilling over the Colombian border.

De Blasio doesn't care. He's just doing what all socialists, the world over, always manage to do.

Image credit: Kevin Case via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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