CAPE, which was formed to battle the PAVE invasion at PS 15 (and is now working with GEM to reach out to other schools in the same situation) posted an announcement this morning that it ain't over 'till it's over.
The CEC15 has bravely forced the DOE to at least pretend to function within the realm of our republic and has agreed to have a public hearing and have the PEP vote on whether PAVE Academy should be able to extend their two year agreement, an agreement by which this charter was sold to the Red Hook Community who fought it.
Please join in our fight to protect and preserve public education, our children and our school! Sign the online petition and circulate it. Contact the NYC PEP and tell them to vote no in allowing PAVE to break their agreement and stay housed in PS 15's building past June 2010... further, we need to fight to expose the faulty DOE formula that is hurting schools and our children.
While some people thought the battle was over when the DOE ruled, as expected, to give PAVE its 2-year extension, Jim Devor of CEC15, which held a contentious meeting at PS 15 back in September, filed a complaint that under the mayoral control renewal law, the PEP must discuss the issue first and then rule in favor of PAVE. This will happen at the January 26 PEP meeting, which will held in the crater of the moon where water was discovered. I'm guessing the vote will be 9 to 2 for PAVE (money and influence talks) but it all should be a worthwhile event.
Ed Notes covered the story from the beginning and we have lots of video from the Sept. 17 meeting. The single best piece is PS 15 Makes Their Case. (Use the search blog for PAVE to find more coverage.)
Excerpts from the Gotham Schools report:
Responding to protests that it was breaking the new mayoral control law, the Department of Education will hold a public hearing before extending PAVE Academy Charter School’s stay inside a district-owned building. The law passed this summer requires the DOE to issue an “educational impact statement” and hold a public hearing on any proposed changes to the way school building space is used, and then to put changes to a vote before the city-wide Panel for Educational Policy.
Last month, DOE officials notified the principals of Red Hook’s PAVE Academy and P.S. 15 that the charter school would remain in the P.S. 15 building, even though PAVE originally agreed to leave the building at the end of this school year. At the time, DOE spokeswoman Ann Forte said that there was no need to follow the new rules since a hearing had been held before the charter school moved into the building two years ago. But after protests from the district’s Community Education Council members, DOE officials said this week they will follow the new procedure after all.
CEC President James Devor drafted a resolution this week calling on the DOE to follow the new law in the case of P.S. 15. The resolution also states that if the DOE does not follow the new procedure in making space decisions regarding P.S. 15 and PAVE, it would join any lawsuit designed to force the DOE to adhere to the law.
A CAPEr commented at Gotham:
This is a victory for due process, for what we have been fighting for. Now we need to make sure the process is transparent… a hearing is one thing, being heard is another. What is at issue here is not charter schools (although many of us have opinions about them), what is at issue is a faulty DOE space sharing formula that is bad for kids and bad for schools— and not for nothing– both groups of kids and schools!
The DOE formula does not take into account the space demands of our special education population and does not take into account a full prep schedule, as well as the space needed for the enrichment and intervention services that make PS 15 an AAA school. I should also mention we have a medical, dental, and social services program at our school as well that requires space.
We all feel for PAVE parents who fear losing a place for their child’s school, but firstly, this is the fault of Robertson and his poor leadership, planning, and judgement and second of all, PS 15 students should not suffer for his incompetence. He has more than enough money to go and find himself a space somewhere else where he would not be negatively impacting the education of over 350 other students, whose parents choose PS 15. We should not be functioning in a system where we rob Paul to pay Peter. Support our fight in keeping PAVE to their two year agreement!