An Olive Branch? Chancellor to Meet with Charter School Leaders

Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 01:14 PM

A fifth-grade class working in "trust circles" at a KIPP charter school. (Beth Fertig for SchoolBook)

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will hold a meeting with charter school leaders on Feb. 22, in what's being called "a discussion of the future of public education in New York City," the first between the new schools chief and the community of 183 charter schools.

It's noteworthy because Fariña's boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, has been cool to the privately-run but publicly-financed schools. Charters are waiting to hear how he may proceed with a proposal to charge charters rent on a sliding scale, and whether he will impose a year-long moratorium on any more co-locations, the placement of new schools inside existing school buildings and a favored policy of the Bloomberg administration.

Also, De Blasio and Fariña have said they are considering two lawsuits seeking to prevent 28 charters from opening this fall in shared public school buildings.

A spokesman for the chancellor, Devon Puglia, wouldn't elaborate on the purpose of the meeting but said the chancellor looks forward to starting a dialogue.

“Chancellor Fariña leads all public school students – district and charter. We believe in listening to and engaging with all members of our school system, because when that happens effectively, it strengthens policy,” Puglia said in a written statement.

The meeting will be at the Charter Center offices. Members of the press were not invited.


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