**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
April 1, 2011
Contact Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191, (646) 201-8183
CONGRATULATIONS TO PS 9 STUDENTS, PARENTS AND THE COMMUNITY ON THEIR VICTORY
NY State Education Commissioner David Steiner overturned the decision by the DOE to co-locate Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School in the Prospect Heights Building
This week, Commissioner of Education David Steiner annulled the Feb. 3 vote by the Panel for Educational Policy, which oversees New York City public schools, to co-locate a charter school in PS 9’s building at 80 Underhill Avenue. His response stated that the City’s plan for sharing the space was unfair.
“I am grateful for this decision, and I know that if the DOE had listened to parents, the community and elected officials regarding the building sharing of PS 9, the Bloomberg Administration would not have had to suffer this defeat. Proposed actions such as this one explain why the Mayor’s poll numbers remain low, despite his efforts to promote himself. This is the second time within a year the State Education Commissioner vetoed co-locating a City charter school,” said Council Member James.
Seven parents filed an appeal of the decision on March 7. The appeal was made under a new law that took effect last year authorizing an expedited process for co-location appeals in particular. The law set out strict rules for co-locations, including one that requires thorough details about their impact that Steiner concluded the City violated at PS 9.
Commissioner Steiner wrote: “I am unable to conclude that DOE’s failure to comply with the statute’s requirements in this respect was harmless error.”
“The fact that State continues to scrutinize the City’s adherence to the charter school law passed last year instills faith in government - the community’s voices were heard, and our children’s education does matter. Closing schools is bad public policy and excluding opinions of parents and teachers is also bad decision making. I am ecstatic, as are advocates of PS 9 that we prevailed,” said Council Member James.
Besides rescinding the decision, the commissioner also prohibited the DOE from moving forward with any phase of the co-location of Brooklyn East into 80 Underhill until it offers a more reasonable division of building resources.