New York City backs off plan to shut down 3 traditional schools

April 3, 2009
City had wanted to convert campuses to charter schools

From The New York Times: The New York City Department of Education, facing a lawsuit accusing it of violating state law, has retreated from a plan to shut down three traditional public schools to make way for charter schools. The schools — Public Schools 194 and 241 in Harlem, and Public School 150 in Brooklyn — originally were scheduled to close their doors to new students in the fall, the first step in a gradual phaseout. Education officials now say the schools will remain open, though they cautioned that they could be closed in the future if they did not improve. Officials say the decision is meant to eliminate anxiety among parents trying to choose schools under the cloud of a lawsuit.

MARCH 2009...From The New York Times: The United Federation of Teachers and the New York Civil Liberties Union argue in a lawsuit that the New York City Department of Education violated state law by moving to replace traditional public schools with charter schools without proper consultation of neighborhood school boards. The groups contend that the city should have sought approval from local school boards before it decided to close neighborhood schools and hand their buildings over to charters. The three schools mentioned in the suit — Public School 194, Public School 241 and Public School 150 — were marked for closing late last year because of poor academic performance and lack of popularity with local residents. Education officials offered the families of children attending those schools priority in admission to the charter schools as well as to nearby schools. The suit says those changes amounted to a redrawing of neighborhood lines and should have been approved by the local board. (Read the lawsuit.)

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