Posts tagged "turf wars"
May 19, 2011
A contentious plan to move a charter middle school into Brooklyn’s P.S. 9 was one of six co-locations approved at last night’s school board meeting.
P.S. 9 parents came to the Panel for Educational Policy meeting with a plan of attack against the city’s proposal to move Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School into the building. One by one, parents took their allotted time to point out specific aspects of the plan that they said were impractical for both schools. They also drew attention to P.S. 9′s own bid to expand into a middle school.
Their expansion plan, however, was not up for consideration and the panel, which has never rejected a co-location proposal, voted to move forward with the space-sharing plan.
Marc Sternberg, the Department of Education’s deputy chancellor for portfolio planning, argued that Uncommon Schools, the charter organization that runs Brooklyn East Collegiate, has a strong record with middle schools. (more…)
April 1, 2011
For the second time in less than a year, State Education Commissioner David Steiner is putting a kibosh on a city charter school siting.
Steiner yesterday annulled a contentious February Panel for Educational Policy vote to place Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School inside the PS 9 building in Prospect Heights. His 16-page decision sides with seven parents who filed a lawsuit alleging many failures in the Department of Education’s proposal, including that it had not provided mandated details about how the colocation would affect the use of common spaces such as the building’s gym and cafeteria.
“I am unable to conclude that DOE’s failure to comply with the statute’s requirements in this respect was harmless error,” Steiner wrote.
The decision bars the city from trying again to site a charter school in the PS 9 building until it releases a new plan that includes the missing information. Because state law requires that any plan be approved six months before a new school moves in, it’s unlikely that the city could get permission to place Brooklyn East Collegiate inside PS 9 this fall.
January 11, 2011
Students from three Brooklyn high schools protested tonight the arrival of a new, selective school that will open in their building next year, arguing that the city has neglected their schools.
Students from the Secondary Schools for Law, Research, and Journalism marched up and down a Park Slope sidewalk this evening chanting and waving signs at startled passersby. All three 6-12 schools share the John Jay High School campus. The city has told them to make room next year for a fourth: the Millennium Brooklyn High School. (more…)
October 27, 2010
The State University of New York’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved Eva Moskowitz’s application to open a charter school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side this morning.
But the approval is unlikely to dampen any of the controversy surrounding the Upper West Success Academy, which Moskowitz’s charter network plans to open in the fall of 2011.
The fight over the school has centered on two questions: Is a new charter school the answer to the district’s overcrowding? And, if so, should that charter share another school’s building?
This is the first time Moskowitz’s charter chain plans to open a school in a neighborhood that is not predominantly low-income. Moskowitz has said she intends the school to provide an alternative to parents who have been crowded out of the neighborhood’s most popular schools or who cannot send their students to one of the city’s gifted programs.
Moskowitz has said she would like the charter to open in P.S. 145, which the city currently lists as underutilized. City officials have told the school they are likely to site the charter there, according to P.S. 145 parent leaders, though the city says no decision has been made. (more…)
August 13, 2010
In a major reversal, the city said today it would ask a Lower East Side charter school to find a new space instead of expanding inside its current building.
Facing a threat of litigation, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein is backing down, at least for the moment, from using new emergency powers to allow Girls Preparatory Charter School to add a middle school inside the PS 188 building. Klein said last week that he would use the powers to override a state ruling barring the expansion, but the city never took the steps to make his declaration official.
Klein said he hasn’t ruled out taking those steps in the future.
“Given the threats of litigation and continuing uncertainty, we are working with the Board of Girls Prep to find a stable solution for these young women,” he said. “At the same time, we remain prepared to exercise our emergency powers should that become necessary.”
Meanwhile, Girls Prep will delay the first day of classes for some students by up to a month while it searches for more space. (more…)
August 4, 2010
The city will forge ahead with a plan to give a Lower East Side charter school more space — even though the state ruled this week to throw that plan out.
The move takes advantage of an “emergency” provision in state law and will allow Girls Prep Charter School to expand into middle school grades in a building the charter currently shares with two district schools.
Earlier this week, State Education Commissioner David Steiner threw out the city’s plan. Steiner ruled that the city did not properly report the impact the charter school’s expansion would have on the students at one of the district schools, P.S. 94, which serves only students with autism. (You can read Steiner’s decision in full here.)
The law says that the chancellor can unilaterally change how a building is used when it is “immediately necessary for the preservation of student health, safety or general welfare.” The change can be in effect for six months while the city goes through the full public approval process required under state law. (more…)
August 3, 2010
The city must start over its controversial plan to let a Lower East Side charter school expand in city space but may proceed with another, the state education department ruled yesterday.
State Education Commissioner David Steiner threw out the city’s plan to allow Girls Prep Charter School to expand its middle school grades in the building it shares with two district schools, ruling that the city did not properly report the plan’s impact on disabled students who attend school in the building.
But in a separate ruling, Steiner argued that the city did provide enough information about its plan to let Brooklyn’s PAVE Academy Charter School expand in the building it currently shares with P.S. 15.
Both plans have prompted bitter space battles this year between the charter schools and teachers and parents at the district schools who share the buildings. Both charters want to expand the number of grades they serve; opponents of the expansion argue that the plans would squeeze the students at the district schools in the building. (more…)
April 21, 2010
The head of a national advocacy group for improving school facilities is warning that a Brooklyn school building cannot support a charter school expansion plan that the citywide school board approved last night.
Mary Filardo, executive director of the 21st Century Schools Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that helps both district and charter schools plan their building space, composed a report on how space is used at Brooklyn’s P.S. 15. The elementary school shares space with PAVE Academy Charter School, which will expand in the building while it awaits construction of its own private building. Filardo’s report, prepared at the request of New York’s Campaign for Fiscal Equity, was submitted as testimony against the city’s plan at last night’s Panel for Educational Policy meeting.
“My overall impression is that even following the most optimal collaborative planning process and support from [the Department of Education], it will not be possible for PS 15 to support the continued expansion of PAVE per the DOE proposal,” Filardo writes.
At the most, Filardo estimates that P.S. 15 could give up one full classroom and one half-sized classroom without harm. But the city’s plan requires much more: it will allocate an additional five full-size classrooms and three resource rooms to PAVE over the next three years. (more…)
February 23, 2010
Parents, teachers, and children crowded an East Harlem school auditorium last night for what has become a familiar scene: a shouting match between charter school advocates and defenders of a neighborhood school wary of sharing its space.
The latest showdown took place at PS 30, a neighborhood school near Manhattan’s eastern shore where the Department of Education has proposed moving Harlem Success Academy II. HSA II would vacate its space at PS 123, where opposition to the charter school run by Eva Moskowitz had been fierce. PS 30 will not see an enrollment drop because of the plan, the DOE has said, although a small school located in the building, KAPPA II, is set to start phasing out this fall.
The Panel for Educational Policy is scheduled to vote on the proposal to move HSA II to PS 30 tomorrow. (more…)
February 12, 2010
When Girls Prep Charter School first requested more space in the Lower East Side school building it currently calls home, its principal and the leader of the district school that shares the building said they wanted a peaceful discussion. That hasn’t happened.
Yesterday, parents from district schools squared off against their neighbors at Girls Prep, separated by a few yards of sidewalk, each trying to shout the other down.
And both sides had the same message: give our school room to grow. (more…)