Chancellor Carmen Fariña sits down with charter school leaders about co-locations
For the first time, Chancellor Carmen Fariña had a meeting with charter school leaders about co-locations, which were approved under the Bloomberg administration and may be overturned by Mayor de Blasio.
By Annie Karni / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, February 22, 2014, 10:44 PM
Facing a looming deadline for Mayor de Blasio to decide the fate of 28 charter schools set to be co-located in September, Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Saturday sat down for the first time with about 100 charter school leaders.
But the educators steered clear of discussing policy matters, according to principals who attended the two-hour breakfast confab.
There was “purposeful avoidance of policy talk,” said Steve Zimmerman, founder of the Academy of the City Charter School in Woodside, Queens.
Fariña described the meeting as “an open dialogue to hear what they have on their mind, for them to know who I am."
RELATED: SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR GIVES TWO VETERAN CITY EDUCATORS TOP POSTS
“It was a very productive meeting. We shared a lot of ideas and we’re going to continue the dialogue,” Fariña told a group of reporters who gathered outside the New York City Charter Center.
De Blasio has promised big changes from the Bloomberg years in how he runs the city’s public schools. He campaigned on a plan to charge charter schools rent for space in city buildings
The city has to decide by around March 1 whether to allow the more than two dozen charter school co-locations that were initially approved by the outgoing Bloomberg administration.
James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Center, said if de Blasio overturns the co-locations, he will leave thousands of charter school students with an inferior education.
RELATED: CARMEN FARIÑA AND AL ROKER DO DAMAGE CONTROL FOR SNOWSTORM COMMENTS
“Can he look every parent in the eye who expects to send their child to these schools in the fall and say to them, ‘The school that I will now force you to go to is going to be better than the school I am taking away from you?” Merriman asked.
Some charter leaders left the meeting scratching their heads about the mayor’s plans.
“They claim to be taking public input,” Eva Moskowitz, CEO of Success Academy, said in a statement after the meeting.
“However, they haven’t consulted anyone from the charter school community including the parents of charter school students and applicants. We’re totally in the dark as to what they’re even considering.”
Fariña Meets With Charter School Leaders
Eva Moskowitz is especially worried about her Success Academy City Hall*:
"Demand for great schools far outpaces supply; there are waiting lists at schools across Lower Manhattan and many of the strong schools are overcrowded. In recent years, one elementary school building on the east side of Lower Manhattan has been operating at more than 200 children over capacity. Not every building, however, lacks space. The Murry Bergtraum facility on Pearl Street — where Success Academy City Hall* will open in August 2014 — has hundreds of seats opening up during the coming years. A desirable new school at this site will attract families from the overcrowded zones, alleviating the incredible burden on those school communities.
Gifted and Talented programs are a wonderful option but can be out of reach, and many families cannot afford to move out of the city or pay private school tuitions. Parents in Lower Manhattan deserve as many affordable options as possible.
Success Academy City Hall* is opening to meet parent demand and provide families with one more excellent school option."