Elected officials from across southern Brooklyn came out on Monday, September 30, to testify at the public hearing regarding the proposed co-location of Success Academy Charter School in I.S. 96 Seth Low Junior High School, charging that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to put as many charter schools as he can in the city before his term is up.
Besides Seth Low, Success Academy Charter School has submitted applications to co-locate at John Dewey High School and at I.S. 281 Joseph Cavallaro, both also on the border of District 20 and 21.
Councilmember Domenic Recchia noted that many Coney Island parents were not able to make the hearing because they were busy dealing with the extended Build it Back program. He also said that I.S. 96 took in students from P.S. 90 which was flooded by Sandy, while their building was being repaired.
“They would have loved to be here, but we they are constantly fighting for their rights,” Recchia contended. “People are trying to get their lives back after Sandy, then you come here with Success Academy and want to crush them? Let’s concentrate on getting Coney Island schools back in order. What does the DOE have to say about that?
“Where is SUNY? Where is Success Academy?” he went on, being applauded by a raucous crowd. “This was not the intent of the charter school, to throw out the public school.”
“Tick-tock, tick-tock, Bloomberg’s term is almost up, so they’re going to sneak in this charter school at the last minute,” testified Councilmember David Greenfield.
“They have no business making this decision right now,” added Councilmember Vincent Gentile. “We will be dealing with the effects after they are long gone. Mayor, chancellor, your time is up.”
Assemblymember Bill Colton agreed. “They are attempting to ram this through at full speed,” he said. “The proceeding of this hearing is in violation of Department of Education law.”
“When people make a mistake in my community, I make sure they’re not there the next time,” said Assemblymember Peter Abbate.