the DOE specifically has earlier said that there would not be sufficient space for a similar projected enrollment - good evidence, though subject to argument. PS 138 would also have an advantage if they filed right now, before the SCN lottery takes place ---anonAfter seeing the video of the PS 138 princpal at the PEP (see below), when the question in the title of this post was asked on the NYCEducationNews listserve, here was one response:
With a strong legal team, PS 138 would probably have a better case than anyone else right now. My understanding of prior co-location cases is that the plaintiffs, in the first instance, could not prove that the potential for overcrowding exists. Here the DOE specifically has earlier said that there would not be sufficient space for a similar projected enrollment - good evidence, though subject to argument. PS 138 would also have an advantage if they filed right now, before the SCN lottery takes place. Courts in the past have found that the enrolled charter students stand greater risk of harm if a co-location is blocked compared to what the existing school students would face from the various potential harms of co-location. Since this Success would be a new school, there are no existing Success students whose interests the court typically would consider on an application for injunctive relief. If a case arrives - either to the Commissioner or ultimately the Courts, I will be interested to see whether the court will hear any evidence of what actually happens in schools that are co-located with this particular charter chain. At this point, there are enough schools in this network that existing co-located students, teachers, etc. should be able to provide evidence of what likely will happen in a proposed new co-location.Here's hoping that we see the day this happens.
As a matter of background to this particular co-location, SCN's initial application was to site three new charter schools in the heart of gentrifying Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill, 2 in District 13 and one in District 17. The pitch was presumably built upon their successful move into Cobble Hill, but this time premised explicitly on luring the acknowledged minority of such families in D13/D17 to create a majority of them in their schools by siting them in prime locations. That is to say, they hoped to poach middle school families from the many traditional public schools (that are already integrated despite being undermined by the DOE, its co-locations and new "choice" schools on a regular basis), and concentrate them in three charters.
I have no idea the discussions, strategy or logic, but the DOE instead is co-locating these charters not in Success's desired areas but instead in the Navy Yards, in Crown Heights, and in Brownsville. SCN has strained to market these locations as gentrifying neighborhoods, in accordance with their current "mission," but in reality all three co-locations are on a VERY slow, if any, path to gentrification. E.g., 265 (Navy Yards) is located in a triangle of the Whitman Houses, the Ingersoll Houses and the BQE, PS 138's population (Crown Heights) is still 96% FRPL, etc. That's not to say that the current schools aren't doing valuable work and doing it well with whomever they serve -- just pointing out that SCN does not appear in this instance to be poised to carry out its stated purpose of creating integrated schools simply by getting shoe-horned into rich neighborhoods a la the Cobble Hill plan. Interested to see what the next round of applications brings --