Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Press Advisory: Concerned Advocates for Public Education

Press Advisory

Concerned Advocates for Public Education
Parents and Teachers of PS 15K,
Brooklyn, New York
January 2010

Parents and Teachers Organize to Protect Their Community Public School:

Red Hook, Brooklyn’s AAA School, PS 15, The Patrick F. Daly School at the Center of New York City’s Charter School Invasion Struggle

When and Where:

· CAPE Community Meeting: 1/14/10, Red Hook Public Library, 3:30-5:30

· Rally and Public Hearing: 1/19/10, Rally begins at 4:30 on the corner of Richards and Sullivan Street in Red Hook, Hearing begins at 6:00 at PS 15, 71 Sullivan Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn

· Citywide Rally and March on the Mayor’s Block: 1/21/10, Rally begins at 4:00 on the corner of 5th Avenue and 79th Street, the park side, Manhattan.

· Rally and PEP Meeting: 1/26/10, Rally begins at 4:00 across the street from Brooklyn Tech High School, PEP meeting begins at 6:00.

The parents and teachers of CAPE, a coalition of parents and teachers from PS 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, have been embroiled in a long standing battle to protect their community public school from the charter school invasion propagated by Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Department of Education. The community was promised a temporary two year co-location of PAVE Academy charter school in their beloved PS 15 building in 2008. At this month’s PEP meeting, members will be faced with a vote to extend PAVE’s stay until 2015, a proposal that will have an irreversible negative impact on the Red Hook community’s only AAA public elementary school.

Please find below an open letter from concerned parents of PS 15K:

January 19, 2010
Dear Chancellor Klein, Mayor Bloomberg, Panel for Educational Policy Members, and the Office of Portfolio Development,

We, the parents of PS 15, The Patrick F. Daly School in Red Hook, Brooklyn, respectfully demand that the Educational Impact Statement regarding the extension of the co-location of PAVE Academy in PS 15K be withdrawn. Simply put, the EIS is wrong and cannot be the basis on which PEP members decide the fate of our school. The most glaring and galling error is in the assessment of the building's current utilization percentage. The assessment does not reflect reality. For example, many of our school's rooms are serving children with special needs and current regulations do not allow these rooms to have higher occupancy. Also, the EIS anticipates that PAVE Academy will continue to exponentially expand its enrollment over the next 5 years while our school will be compelled to cut enrollment. Yet the EIS states that no child will be displaced and that there will be "no impact on PS-15." The EIS is contradicting itself! The fact is that the co-location of a charter school within our school's building has already had negative repercussions for our children who attend PS 15.

The Educational Impact Statement posted in December of 2009, for a 45 day comment period leading to a January 26th PEP vote should be deemed invalid. This document simply does not represent the true educational impact of the change in utilization the document supports. Once the EIS is amended, our community will ask for the proper 45 day review period, as required by law. Therefore, we ask that the vote on this proposal be withdrawn from the 26th PEP meeting date so that the Department of Education can not only re-examine the contents of the current EIS, but we also ask the DOE re-evaluate the desire to force a continued co-location on our school community. Our community was promised a 2 year limit on this arrangement. We have already seen the negative impact the co-location has had on scheduling, program offerings, and related service providers. We currently have no empty or underutilized rooms in our school building - should the EIS authors actually visit our school this would be evident to them.

PS 15 is a thriving, successful school. Its great improvement in every realm, over the past decade, has been based on many things: teachers, parent involvement, community support, and a properly sized facility to house all of 15's excellent programs. Cutting our building in half will set back all of our efforts which have resulted in the only successful public school serving Red Hook.
We respectfully ask the DOE to withdraw the EIS, remove the PAVE extension issue from the January 26th PEP meeting, and fully re-evaluate the policy and the ramifications of this proposed change in utilization. We stand united in fully supporting the original two year agreement and ask that PAVE Academy vacate PS 15 in June of 2010. We do not accept further sacrifices at the expense of our children.

CAPE, Concerned Advocates for Public Education is comprised of dedicated parents and teachers who seek to protect and support public education and are demanding that Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Education withdraw the proposal to extend PAVE Academy’s stay in PS 15K beyond the two year agreement ending in June 2010. We further advocate for our voices to be heard in the education reform movement.

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