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Mount Vernon District Fights a Charter School's Arrival

Friday, November 04, 2011 - 07:20 AM

In New York City, the public has grown accustomed to fights over charter schools and whether to open more of them. Typically, the opposition comes from parents, teachers and members of the city's teachers' union.

But in Mount Vernon, the local school district has fiercely opposed the opening of Amani Charter School this year. Winnie Hu of The New York Times writes that the district sued the State Education Department for chartering the school and has now refused to hand over state, federal and local aid money to Amani, so the state has begun paying the charter directly.

The Mount Vernon City School District's superintendent said the reason behind these actions was simple: money. The small district does not have much to begin with and, because allocations are based on enrollment, Amani's opening meant less money for the district.

The New York Post reports Friday that a city schoolteacher, David Suker, has been arrested on charges that he fought with a police officer and resisted arrest while participating in the Occupy Wall Street protest. It is the second time Mr. Suker, a G.E.D. teacher in the Bronx, has been arrested during the protests.

And before the New York City Marathon this weekend, about 1,000 public school students ran the Run With Champions race in Central Park on Thursday. Hadas Goshen reported for SchoolBook:

For schools like the Community School for Social Justice in the Bronx, participating in Run With Champions meant more than just a day off from school. Limited financing for physical education makes exercise a rarity for the school’s students, said Matt McKenna, an 11th-grade social studies teacher and co-coach of the school’s Run With Champions team. The school’s physical education classes are “nonexistent,” Mr. McKenna said. “This is their gym program. So training for this was a great opportunity for them to get some physical activity.”

Here is what is happening on Friday and this weekend:

At 6 p.m. on Friday, Advocates for Justice will honor Julie Menin, the chairwoman of Community Board 1, Santos Crespo Jr., vice president of District Council 37. The event will take place in the United Federation of Teachers building at 52 Broadway.

On Saturday, current ninth-grade students who wish to test into a specialized high school can take the Specialized High School Admissions Test.

Also this weekend, the Rev. Joseph Abraham and the Bethel Church of the Nazarene in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, want you to know that they now offer G.E.D. classes and tutoring on Saturdays. For more information contact Bethel Church of the Nazarene at (718) 789-6416.

On Sunday, Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott is running in the New York City Marathon for the first time. The 26.2 mile journey will take him through the five boroughs.

And The Choice blog wants to hear your questions regarding applicants applying to college with learning disabilities.

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