Debate of NYC School Space Continues

by NYC Firm Schools on December 22, 2009

The debate over using public school space for charter and Firm Schools in NYC has been steadily building, quite literally. The NYC Public School Parents Blog carried a recent article with some very stinging arguments and points about wealthy patrons funding and creating specialty charter schools in NYC.

It appears from an article in the Brooklyn Paper that the PAVE charter school board has been put on the defensive by DOE’s proposal to give them a five year extension on staying at PS 15 — and allowing them to take more space from the school each year as they expand, instead of the two year extension they originally requested.

A member of the board revealed that they have already been provided $26 million of city taxpayer funds from the NYC Department of Education for their own facility, and have raised $6.2 million more. Apparently they lack only $6 million to make this new building a reality.

The blog makes some extremely specific connections between major players in the Charter School initiatives in New York City and provides predictions on how the current wave of charter school funding popularity can go very badly for the children that need it the most.

Spencer Robertson’s wife Sarah is Director of Talent Recruitment at PAVE , and head of the board of Girls Prep Charter School, which has caused considerable controversy of its own by seeking to expand within a District 1 public school building. See the photo below, courtesy of the NY Times, of a recent District 1 meeting about the expansion of this school.

Another member of the Girls Prep board is Eric Grannis, husband of Eva Moskowitz, who makes more than $300,000 a year, operating another string of charter schools and who herself has been eager to expand her schools even further into the buildings of existing public schools in Harlem

The post continues to quote an Education Week article to articulate the points of educational charity.

Today, with the proliferation of charter schools, we may be seeing a resurgence of the historic pattern as public schools are privatized and taken over by very rich men (and women) who see themselves as saviors of the children of the poor. Naturally, you find this a repellent portrait because it undermines the democratic foundations of public education. It means that our society will increasingly rely on the good will of wealthy patrons to educate children

The points made on the New York Parents blog are going to be a touchpoint in many NYC education discussions regarding space and charter schools.

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