CEC 21 opposes charter schools in resolution

More charter schools are getting the cold shoulder in District 21.

Community Education Council District 21 approved and adopted a resolution on Wednesday, May 20, that opposes applications from two charter schools – The Hebrew Language Academy and Mentora International Charter School.

CEC 21 has openly opposed the addition of charter schools to its district, passing a similar resolution in July concerning two other charter schools, and protesting the addition of HLA and Mentora during a rally in April.

The CEC cited many reasons for the opposition, including the quality of the academics at one of the schools.

“The district has already suffered unfair co-locations, which have created unnecessary seats,” the resolution stated. “It is unclear as to the intentions of the applicants which public schools they intend to invade.”

The resolution also mentioned that the district – despite opposition from the educational community — already has two elementary charter schools, one middle charter school and one charter high school, which, according to CEC 21, “have reduced the students’ population in [the] community schools.

“Allowing yet another charter school within District 21 shows the Department of Education’s preferential treatment of charter schools and full neglect of public schools,” the CEC said in the resolution. “Charter schools have funds and benefactors who can support needs of the children without dividing community. The challenges of sharing a building are often exacerbated when one school has more resources than the other.”

The CEC’s opposition is echoed by the district’s educators

The Hebrew Learning Academy “received an F rating and does not serve its students very well,” contended  Judy Gerowitz, the UFT district representative for District 21, who said that Mentora, an international high school, would be duplicative, given that “District 21 [already] has an international high school at the Lafayette Campus.

“We’re a very high ranking district in New York City, [and] I’m very proud of the work that we do in the district as well as the work that the parents do through the CECS and the PTAs,” Gerowitz added.

“We’re really hoping that the resources that are going to this issue would be more for our public schools – schools that have been here forever, that even our parents went to,” said Tony Alberti, a paraprofessional at P.S. 100 in Coney Island. “We should have more support for us, not for something new. You can’t fix what’s not broken, and District 21 is absolutely not broken.”

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