Editorial: Review time

February 5, 2014 Editorial Staff
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We applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for announcing that the city will review all of the school co-locations and closures pushed through during the last few months of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration.

In Brooklyn, many of the co-location proposals that would put charter schools inside already heavily-utilized public school buildings were fast-tracked against the wishes of the school communities involved.

Indeed, parents, staff and students mounted large protests in opposition to the plans at local hearings as well as at the meetings of the Panel for Educational Policy that rubber-stamped the co-locations.

This occurred because of the groundswell of dissatisfaction with the plan, which made itself heard even though the city’s Department of Education at the time scheduled public meetings with little advance notice to the public, even at one point toying with the idea of changing the date of one meeting so it fell on a religious holiday.

Some of the charter schools that are involved may be worthy additions to the city’s educational offerings; nonetheless, when one is put inside a public school, the process in all fairness must involve the school communities at both educational institutions, and parents must be involved in the process.

The mayor said as much when he told Brian Lehrer on WNYC, “I’ve bluntly said that parents are stakeholders in the school system. They’ve never been treated that way by the previous administration and we have to change that. The parents have a right to have a serious say in things affecting their own kids.”

We couldn’t agree more


It was a glittering scene on Saturday, February 1 at the Bay Ridge Manor, when representatives of close to 100 community and civic organizations gathered with local elected officials and other movers and shakers at the Bay Ridge Community Council Presidents Luncheon.

The annual event pays tribute to local volunteers as well as the strong and compelling spirit of volunteerism that motivates them.

These are people who take joy in serving their neighbors and their neighborhoods, not for their own gain but to benefit the area they call home and those who live there.

Brooklyn is a better place in which to live and raise a family because of their efforts.

We join with BRCC officers in saluting them.

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