Say no to sharing a building with a charter school!

From the Advocacy Committee:

The DoE has been allowing charter schools to take space in public school buildings. Our building, for example, is not “at capacity.” If a charter school were co-located in our building, we could lose our rooms for Art and Spanish, and the spaces used by Valerie, Teddy and Emily. This has happened to existing schools and their communities all over NYC. Please sign the petition saying NO to charters in District 1 schools! Also, there’s a press conference tonight, Thursday, outside PS 20: The Anna Silver School (166 Essex St) at 5pm, and a meeting inside with our wonderful City Council member Rosie Mendez, our Community Education Council and other elected officials at 6pm. (If you want to speak, you must sign up between 5:30-6:15.)

Background info: 

  • Charter schools are publicly funded but privately managed.
  • Each school is an education corporation that has its own Board of Trustees, meaning they do not report to the DOE as do other public schools. 
  • Charter schools are not subject to state auditing. 
  • Success Academy Charter Schools (the group that has been given a charter to open a school in our neighborhood) spends over $1200 PER STUDENT on public relations, marketing and lobbying -- money that SHOULD go to students in classrooms.
  • Charter schools hurt the public school system. Charters try to attract high-performing students and use all sorts of strategies to get rid of kids with IEPs, kids with poor attendance, kids who do not test well, kids in transitional housing. They aren’t good for teachers, either, because they have high burnout rates due to overwork and lack of union benefits. (Charter schools are, on the whole, opposed to teachers unions.)

We have over 2300 signatures on our petition; our goal is 3000. Please sign and state your opposition to charter schools taking up space and resources in public schools that serve ALL KIDS! 

Notes from the Community Education Council:

·         Allowing a charter school like Success Academy to be co-located in an existing public school takes away resources from the public school and creates a two-tiered system in the same building. The children in the charter schools often have access to more amenities, including much nicer classrooms, than the children in the public school in the same facility.

·         The public schools in our district service children with high special needs. Success Academy will not take in students with those needs. As a consequence, the public school ends up with limited resources to provide services to many children requiring various different types of services to successfully complete their education. And children with high special needs end up in an overcrowded space because the charter school is located in the same building and takes up space that was originally allocated to the public school. 

·         The SUNY Board of Trustees did not have a public hearing for residents to express their concerns regarding District 1, although they did hold one for the District 2 community. This problem brings up an issue of transparency. District 1 parents should have a voice in this process.




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