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Panel For Educational Policy Approves New School Co-Locations

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TWC News: Panel For Educational Policy Approves New School Co-Locations
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The city's Panel for Educational Policy approved a plan for 17 new school co-locations after a contentious meeting Tuesday night in Brooklyn.

The votes came after an emotionally charged meeting where more than 300 parents, students, teachers and community leaders, who were there to protest the practice of co-locating charter schools within public school buildings, barely let the panel speak.

The plan also includes five new charter schools and seven new district schools.

The Panel for Educational Policy, or PEP, read aloud the list of proposed new school co-locations, which only heated things up more.

At the meeting, City Councilman Lew Fidler of Brooklyn said that charter schools create inequality.

"Why are we aggravating 23 communities, hundreds of thousands of parents, students, teachers, for something that's not going to happen anyway? Why are you doing this?" Fidler said.

"This administration, which has failed our children, failure no more," said Letitia James, the Democratic candidate for public advocate. "The policies have got to stop, and with Bill de Blasio and Letitia James, we will put an end to the reign of Mayor Bloomberg."

"Our goal is to make sure we offer our parents, but especially our 1.1 million students, as much choice as possible," said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

Earlier Tuesday, protesters marched to the meeting at Prospect Heights High School from P.S. 161 in Brooklyn, a school that could absorb a charter school itself.

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