Beth Fertig is WNYC’s Contributing Editor for Education. She previously covered politics, which included City Hall during the Giuliani administration, and the U.S. Senate campaigns of Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. She also covered transportation and infrastructure.
Parents Sue Over School Closings
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
New York, NY –
The teachers union, the New York Civil Liberties Union and several parents have filed a lawsuit against the city's Education Department. They claim the city is closing schools without community input. WNYC's Beth Fertig reports.
REPORTER: The case concerns community education councils, elected parents and residents in every district who are responsible for zoning changes. The plaintiffs claim the city decided to close three schools in Harlem and Brooklyn without getting permission from the local councils. Jennifer Freeman is a member of Community Education Council 3 in Manhattan - where PS 241 is being replaced by a charter school.
FREEMAN: In a way it's like, you know, a kid acting out more and more until someone comes along and puts a stop to it.
REPORTER: The city's law department says it's still reviewing the case. The department of education says the schools that are closing were all failing, and that students who won't be able to attend them this fall will get priority when applying to other schools. The suit comes as state legislators are considering whether to renew the 2002 law that put Mayor Bloomberg in charge of the schools. Many of them have called for more parental involvement. For WNYC I'm Beth Fertig.