The PS 188/94 and PS 15 recent appeals to the State Education Commissioner prove once again that Mayoral Control amounts to nothing more than governance by lawsuit, a construct where parents, students, and teachers will find themselves at a great disadvantage, and will almost always lose, when seeking what is best for the public education of our youth.
Commissioner David Steiner’s decisions in both cases, the Department of Education’s responses in both cases, and the outrageous actions of Klein evoking ‘emergency powers’ in the one of Steiner's findings set dangerous and destructive precedents for our schools and students when it comes to school and space utilization and allocation.
As a result of Steiner’s decision and the responses and actions of the DOE:
· Space allocations are not required for related services for special needs students or for ELL students.
· Stairwells and Hallways are perfectly acceptable spaces for students to receive educational services.
· Negative impacts on existing public school students, specifically removing space for enrichment, intervention, and other mandated and non-mandated services to benefit a charter school, is perfectly acceptable.
· Educational Impact statements do not have to be provided to parents in paper form or through the mail. Notification to families and communities need only be made through the internet or through the school’s principal with no additional resources provided by the DOE.
· Educational impact statements do not have to specifically identify the impacts or losses on students in terms of space or programming due to a co-location.
· Educational impact statements do not have to show how space will be allocated; a space plan can be completed after the co-location is approved.
· Providing opportunities for hearings and public input where no one is actually heard or considered meets the standard of the law.
· When a legal decision is made that favors parents, students, and teachers, the DOE will find a way to get around it.
Mayoral Control is absolute power that corrupts absolutely. It is a license to push destructive and discriminatory policies touted by this Mayor and Chancellor, which will be rubberstamped by a PEP whose majority is selected by the Mayor himself and given the directive to "serve at his pleasure". When in the rare case, the Administration is legally challenged on a issue, there is a loophole to declare emergencies in order to override whatever decision displeases the Chancellor. This is not putting Children First, as their self-heralded initiative claims, this is putting ideology first, an ideology rooted in free-market principles that further reinforce the roles of privilege and subordination in our country and pervert our public education system, the pillar of our democracy. Local and State legislators must take action to end this corrupt governance system and put legislation in place and advocate for policies that protect public schools and our neediest and most vulnerable children.
Join Grassroots Education Movement in the Struggle to Protect and Preserve Public Education! Check in this week for further video and analysis regarding the DOE’s outrageous actions and claims regarding co-locations @ ednotesonline.blogspot.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Want to create a community-based advocacy group in your school? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an advocacy toolkit and information on GEM’s school-based organizing committee.
Together we can stop the dysfunctional and discriminatory education policies of Bloomberg and Klein!