The planned protest of a co-location proposal at I.S. 281 Joseph B. Cavallaro Junior High School (8787 24th Avenue) drew hundreds of concerned parents, students and educators to the Monday evening hearing.
The proposal is one of many last-minute attempts by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to shove charter schools into public school buildings before he leaves office, presumably to be succeeded by Bill de Blasio, who has opposed co-location efforts.
At Joseph B. Cavallaro Junior High School, Department of Education officials are hoping to win permission to co-locate Coney Island Preparatory charter school within the building, a proposal that the junior high school’s administrators say will gobble up space and resources.
The biggest bombshell during the hearing came from Councilman Domenic Recchia, who revealed that a permanent building was offered for Coney Island Prep, but that school administrators “dropped the ball” on seeing it through.
The Home Reporter reports:
“CIP parents shouldn’t be yelling at us or at the DOE. They should be yelling at this guy,” he said referring to Mnookin’s decision to drop the ball on a permanent building to house the charter school last year.
“If I was sending my child to CIP, I would be mad as hell. We shouldn’t be here tonight fighting like this and it’s all because of what you and your board decided to do,” Recchia said. “If you want to find a home, there’s a building down on West Eighth Street with the second floor available.”
If the proposal moves forward, Coney Island Prep would begin accepting 55-70 kindergartners each year until it reaches full size in 2017.
The Panel for Education Policy will vote on the proposal on October 30, at 6 p.m., in the Prospect Heights High School at 883 Classon Avenue.