Wednesday, May 12th 2010, 4:00 AM
Two Public School 15 parents who are angry about having to share space with the Perseverance, Achievement, Vibrance and Excellent Character Academy delivered their appeal to state Education Commissioner David Steiner last Wednesday.
Parents John Battis and Lydia Bellahcene have charged the DOE violated state education law by failing to spell out the impact on PS 15 students of having PAVE in the Sullivan St. building.
"We're fighting for our local school," said Battis, 46, a hospital administrator whose son Liam attends pre-K at PS 15.
If Steiner grants the appeal, PAVE will have to find a new home, Battis said.
Battis and Bellahcene allege students at the A-rated public school have less space for general education classes and special education therapy since PAVE moved in two years ago.
"Two-thirds of our kids have special needs," said Battis. "Now our facilities for them are being squeezed."
Battis and Bellahcene claimed a victory when their first appeal against DOE's January decision to extend PAVE's stay forced school officials to hold a second vote at a public meeting on April 20.
At the meeting, a crowd of PS 15 parents booed when DOE officials once again voted to extend PAVE's stay until 2013.
"Tensions are high," said Bellahcene, who has three children at the school, including Lailah, 5, a kindergarten student with special needs.
"Lailah's still getting her physical therapy in a locker room because there's no place else to do it," Bellahcene said. "We're in this battle for the long haul."
PAVE and DOE officials disputed the appeal.
"The petition lacks merit," said DOE spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld, adding that he couldn't comment further because the matter is in active litigation.
PAVE founder Spencer Robertson said the charter school is in contract to buy a nearby building and should be able to move into it before the 2013-14 school year.
Until then, "we believe there is enough space in the PS 15 campus for students from both PS 15 and PAVE Academy," Robertson said.