Posts tagged "toxic debate"
May 21, 2013
The city will clear school buildings of light fixtures containing PCBs, a carcinogen, by the end of 2016, five years ahead of schedule, under an agreement announced today.
The agreement was struck between the city and New York Communities for Change and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, which filed suit over the city’s timeline for replacing the toxin-containing light fixtures in July 2011. A mediator stepped in to try to broker a compromise last month.
A year and a half ago, the city said 754 school buildings had the problematic light fixtures, and until recently, officials had said they would clear them all by 2021.
But two weeks ago, after 11 students and a teacher were taken to the hospital after a light fixture containing the chemicals began emitting smoke at a Harlem school, the city announced that it would accelerate the timeline. The announcement also followed a dispute over the light fixtures in a Brooklyn building where a charter school replaced its lights without city permission while schools the district operates continued to have the old fixtures. (more…)
April 25, 2013
Tension between the teachers union and Success Academy Charter Schools operator Eva Moskowitz reached a new high — or low — today, with each side accusing the other of jeopardizing children’s safety.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew said Moskowitz had violated city construction rules, while Moskowitz connected the behavior of union workers to December’s devastating school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
The charged rhetoric stems from a dispute over light fixtures in the Brooklyn building that Success Academy shares with three other schools. Last week, the UFT joined Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a mayoral candidate, in calling for an investigation into how Success Academy’s Cobble Hill school was rid of light fixtures containing toxic PCBs while the other schools in the building continued to have the lights. De Blasio alleged that the department had given Moskowitz’s school preferential treatment.
As it turns out, de Blasio was wrong. The department did not remove the lights from Success Academy’s portion of the building — Success Academy simply had the lights removed in the course of other renovations, without the city’s approval. (Moskowitz has said before that a benefit of running a charter school is that she has to pass through less red tape to get the light bulbs she likes.) (more…)
April 22, 2013
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s campaign against charter school operator Eva Moskowitz continued today when the mayoral candidate called for an independent investigation into the way the city treats Moskowitz’s Success Academy schools.
Citing a column by Juan Gonzalez in Friday’s New York Daily News, de Blasio said Cobble Hill Success Academy had toxin-ridden light fixtures removed before other schools in its Brooklyn public school building. (The city is in the midst of a lumbering process to rid hundreds of school buildings of lights that contain PCBs.)
De Blasio brought students and parents to the steps of the Department of Education’s headquarters on Chambers Street today to call for an investigation into what he said was preferential treatment by the department of the charter network. He got an assist from the United Federation of Teachers, who wrote to city schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott today to ask for the investigation. (more…)