The de Blasio administration announced it will reverse some school co-location decisions made at the end of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's term. Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
When he was running for mayor, Bill de Blasio promised that if elected he'd reconsider 45 plans by Michael Bloomberg's Department of Education for schools to open or expand in buildings that already house other public schools. On Thursday he announced his decision.
"I'm not gonna mince words about what I feel about how the Bloomberg administration made decisions on co-locations. I think it was abhorrent. I think it was done without real consultation with parents, real consultation with the schools,” said de Blasio.
So de Blasio said he'd decided to reverse nine of the plans, which were scheduled to go into place this coming summer.
Three schools that lost space were charters, all part of the high performing but controversial Success network.
de Blasio has long criticized the Bloomberg administration for giving charter schools rent-free space in public school buildings. He has also long been a critic specifically of the nearly two dozen Success Charter schools started by a former political rival, Eva Moskowitz.
Thursday, the two exchanged words, from separate news conferences a few blocks apart in Harlem.
"Certain situations we thought would be counterproductive to our children's education, we weren't going to stand for that,” said de Blasio.
"Counter-productive? This is one of the most educationally productive communities in the country,” said Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Network.
Two of the Success schools that lost space are brand new, scheduled to accept their first students this coming summer. But the third, Harlem Success 4, lost next-year's classrooms for 300 of its current students in 4th, 5th and 6th grade.
"This is a terribly heartbreaking day for my scholars, their families,” said Principal Andrew Malone of Harlem Success Academy.
"There are failing schools all over the city, why target us?” said Shea Reeder, parent at Harlem Success Academy 4.
And then there are some who think the mayor didn't go far enough. Many of the mayor's allies, including the teachers union and City Council Speaker, put out statements saying they were pleased he'd reversed some of the so-called co-locations but had hoped he'd do more.