Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org. She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.
As Court Date Looms, City Revises Plans for Charter Schools
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Ahead of a court date Tuesday, the city has been revising plans for charter schools it plans to move or expand inside buildings with regular schools.
The NAACP and the teachers union have filed a lawsuit accusing the city of violating state law by giving the charter schools a disproportionate amount of shared building space — such as classrooms and libraries — and time in lunchrooms, playgrounds and gyms.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the city continues to believe the lawsuit "lacks merit."
Meanwhile, the city has been amending plans and holding hearings at each school — and pledged to give PS 30 in the Bronx, for example, more lunch shifts and gym time than the smaller Success Academy charter school, which is adding another grade in September.
Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP's New York Conference, said she hasn't seen the city's revised plan and neither Dukes nor the teachers union would comment. But the two sides have expressed strong skepticism about the city's ability to allocate space in a fair way without court intervention.
The NAACP and the teachers union are also suing to stop the city from phasing-out 22 struggling public schools.