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Sunday, May 5, 2013

United Federation of Teachers reports on Schools for Sale

From the UFT New York Teacher Issue:
The offer sounded like a typical enticement to developers by a property owner eager to cash in. 
The owner “is pleased to offer for your consideration three prime development sites” in Manhattan that present “truly special opportunities” to build luxury high-rises of “significant height and tremendous views.” 
But nothing about this appeal was typical. 
The three sites proposed for redevelopment are public schools that together serve about 2,300 students: PS 191 and PS 199 on the Upper West Side, and the School of Cooperative Technical Education (Co-op Tech HS) on the Upper East Side.

The article mentions that some P.S. 199 parents are hoping for a new middle school:

PS 199’s parent association hasn’t taken a position yet, although some parents say they may consider the proposal if the new school includes a middle school, which the neighborhood desperately needs.
Yet, we've demonstrated, which you can read here, that with the existing proposal this is not possible.  Additionally, the PTA co-president, Eric Shuffler is also quoted expressing concern that the proposed school may not be able to accomodate any more students  than the existing school.

“Some parents have said that it seems stupid to do this just to rebuild a school,” said Eric Shuffler, PTA co-president at PS 199. “They’ve asked, what’s the point to even have a conversation about this if we end up with the same number of seats?”
And the lack of transparency from the DOE is glaring:

Parents and educators have more questions than answers. Where and for how long would students and staff be relocated as one school is torn down and a high-rise is built? What kind of amenities would they have to do without while they are relocated? In deals clearly aimed at unlocking development dollars, would the affected school receive some of the money generated? Will the community have a real say in what gets built?
 Read the Full Article here.

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