We've pulled the original video and added new footage. It will be released Monday morning.
Comment by Lisa Donlan:
Update: Aug, 13, 8:30pm
Reports coming in that Klein backed down due to threat of an injunction by Advocates for Children. See links and comments below video.
UPDATE: Aug. 13, 6PM
Our video is out for 2 hours and Klein reverses course. What power!
Klein Reverses Course on Girls Prep and Emergency Powers
Posted Aug 13 4pm
Joel Klein disregards decision by State Ed Commissioner regarding Girls Prep charter school expansion while students with autism are forced to move.
Special ed parents voice their displeasure at the machinations that discriminate against their children in favor of charters.
REVISED VERSION GOING UP SUNDAY
Rachel Monhan in her 2nd story of the day tells us about the Advocates For Children threat.
On Leonie's listserve:
Although I can give AFC a lot of credit for taking on this issue please remember it was parents, lead by Jessica Santos PTA President of the school for youngsters with autism (P94), who contacted AFC. Her name is on the appeal to Steiner and on the response from Steiner. Without a parent who had the good sense.... and nerves of steel... to contact AFC, this action could not have occurred.
The P.R. spin the DOE has been trying to work in the public arena, that rabid anti-charter school and pro-union types, were the cause of all of this ruckus is so off-putting. A parent started the action. Others joined in.
But, like many other NYers, I am waiting for the other shoe to fall. Where will the Space Cadets strike next?
I read an article saying that AFC had threatened to go for a restraining order. I'm thinking the NYCDOE knew its position re the "emergency" was a loser. It hadn't mentioned any emergency in its papers opposing AFC's original petition to NYSED/Steiner. Klein started saying he'd use his powers due to an emergency immediately after Steiner's decision came down. NYCDOE may have essentially lost its right to claim there was an emergency because it hadn't cited it in the original papers and couldn't demonstrate any real emergency which had arisen so shortly after Steiner's decision came down.
It might have been faced not so much with another litigation, but rather, essentially being held in contempt of Steiner's decision because there was no real emergency. To be found in contempt isn't good, but to be found in contempt re the welfare of a program for children with autism would be a total p.r. disaster.
NYCDOE is probably going to wind up in a lot of trouble re forcing disabled kids to receive related services in closets, open hallways, and the like as it is. This might have been a straw that would break the federal overseer's back, so to speak, and ... NYCDOE could face losing a lot of federal $ if found in contempt.