Saturday, February 27, 2010

PS 15 Charter School Suit Over PAVE

This may grow into a big story as the counter attack on the BloomKlein policy of inserting charter schools into public school buildings is getting some serious push back. If you've read our and other reports of the PEP meeting the other night it would appear the charter school movement is garnering lots of support and may be extended to other invaded schools. (See the video of the CAPE presentation at the PEP the other night.

Now I don't have much faith in the state ed commissioner Steiner since he was chosen by Bloomberg/Klein pal Meryl Tisch but the state ed dept is a political creation and this type of pressure might have a long term impact.

Check out the complaint itself, prepared by Advocates for Children, at Gotham. Leonie calls it "Very compelling stuff!"

Two parents at a Brooklyn district school who have strongly resisted the city’s plan to let a charter school extend its stay in the district school building are appealing to State Education Commissioner David Steiner to halt the plan.

The parents, John Battis and Lydia Bellahcene, allege that the city of violating state education law in its plan to allow PAVE Academy charter school remain in the same building as P.S. 15 until 2013. The citywide school board voted to approve that plan in its January meeting.

The appeal, which parents filed to the city today and expect to deliver to the state education department in Albany on Monday, claims that vote should be nullified because the city revised its timeframe for PAVE’s stay without having a second public hearing, as required if the city changes a plan for how a building will be used. It also argues that the city failed to give enough information about how the plan would affect students at both the schools.

Lawyers with the advocacy group Advocates for Children are working with Battis and Bellahcene on the appeal.

Julie C. of CAPE commented at Gotham:
Wanted to thank all of the posters so far for your supportive words; I also want to note the commitment of and thank, with the greatest pride, John and Lydia for taking the lead on this and showing what we can do when parents take the leap and get involved with education policy. We have been so fortunate in the Red Hook Community to have an amazing collective of parents and teachers who work together fighting for their children. John, Lydia, and other parents and teachers have sacrificed much in this fight, but it is all worth it to us; we know how important it is to protect our children and the public education they ALL deserve. I just want to note to one poster, PS 15 parents are not ‘fighting against PAVE parents’… we have kept the tone and tenor very much focused on the DOE and the PAVE founder and board. Their decisions and motives do not serve PS 15’s children, nor the children who attend PAVE Academy. The destructive policies of this administration, and those who have hijacked the charter school movement for personal gain and an ideology deeply rooted in a privatization agenda, are shameful. We will continue this fight and hope more parents, teachers, and policy makers get informed and get involved.

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