Bay Ridge

Golden defends charter schools

Calls on de Blasio to reconsider decision on co-locations

March 3, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle

While several of his fellow southern Brooklyn elected officials were criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio over Hizzoner’s decision to allow plans for two charter schools to share space with traditional public schools in Bensonhurst to move forward, state Sen. Marty Golden was also unhappy with the mayor, but not for the same reason.

Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) said he was disappointed with de Blasio’s decision to reverse a ruling made by the Bloomberg Administration on other charter schools around the city sharing space with regular public schools. The current mayor overruled the former mayor’s decision that had allowed nine school co-locations, including three involving the Success Academy Charter school chain.

De Blasio’s decision means that the nine schools will not be able to move into the traditional public school buildings as planned.

Golden charged that de Blasio isn’t giving charter schools a fair shake.

“Charter schools are public schools that enhance and improve education opportunities for all New York’s children and are proven effective.  I am disappointed in Mayor de Blasio, and his administration. Charter schools are a vital and important part of the education equation, and must be part of the conversation when discussing the educational needs of our children,” Golden said.

Golden called on the mayor and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina to reconsider the decision. He also vowed to “continue to work in Albany to ensure that students and parents have as many options as possible when it comes to schools, and that includes charters.”

The New York Times reported that de Blasio accused the Bloomberg Administration of a rush to judgment when it came to charter schools. “There was a rush to make these decisions by the previous administration. We decided that some of these were not fair, did not make sense, and we took action,” the Times quoted the mayor as saying.

The mayor, who announced his decision on Feb. 27, did leave intact a plan to have a Success Academy Charter school share space with Seth Low Intermediate School (IS 96), at 99 Ave. P, and a plan for another charter school, Coney Island Prep, to share space with Joseph Cavallaro Intermediate School (IS 281), at 8787 24th Ave.

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Golden did not come out in favor of either the Seth Low IS or the Cavallaro IS plans.

Council members Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst), David Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst) and Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) all issued statements blasting de Blasio’s decision to allow the two co-locations. Forcing traditional public schools to share their buildings with charter schools will lead to overcrowded classrooms and will interfere with the educational process, the Democratic lawmakers charged.

The charter schools are scheduled to move into the two Bensonhurst intermediate schools in September.



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