Monday, September 12, 2011
Thursday's arguments in our charter co-location lawsuit, & what Tisch and Klein said to Brill about this issue
Arguments in our lawsuit vs. charter co-locations will be heard this Thursday, Sept. 15 at 10 AM ; 60 Court St, 2nd floor, Judge Feinman’s courtroom.
Please join us to show your support at our press conference beforehand and in the courtroom afterwards.
Where: the Plaza across from 60 Centre St., near City Hall, map here.
When: Thursday, Sept. 15 at 9AM
What: Press conference before charter co-location court hearings
Class Size Matters, along with the Parents Union and several public school parents, sued DOE this summer to block their practice of providing free space and services to charter schools, which we believe violates state law, and which has led to co-located charters receiving more per student public funds than regular public schools.
The value of these services and space is estimated at more than $100 million annually, and the amount is growing every year.
Moreover, the provision of free space has created a separate and unequal school system across the city, sparked divisive battles between parents and community members, and encouraged charter school expansion at the expense of our public schools. For more on our lawsuit, see here.
In Steve Brill's new book, (see Diane Ravitch's brilliant review) Merryl Tisch, head of the NY Board of Regents, is quoted as arguing with Klein against co-locations, echoing a thought many of us have had: "The charters are supported by billionaires. Let them buy buildings." But Klein remains adamant:
"I got $250 million put into my capital budget in 2005-6 for the work necessary to do co-location," Klein recalls."But nobody noticed..." Klein was facilitating the growth of these alternative schools at the expense of the schools he was in charge of.
In the book, Brill is admiring of Klein's strategy, while those of us who actually believe that it was his first responsibility to strengthen rather than undermine the public schools that he ran see this behavior as nothing short of horrifying.
If we win this lawsuit, it will help put the brakes on those who are unfortunately still in charge, intent on damaging our public schools to benefit the billionaires, the privateers and their hedge-fund buddies.
Our side is represented by one public interest attorney, Arthur Schwartz of Advocates for Justice, while the other side is represented by the Corporation Counsel of NYC as well as an army of attorneys from three major private law firms, Kirkland and Ellis, Paul Weiss, Mayer Brown, representing charter schools, as well as SNR Denton, representing the NYC Charter Center.
But we have right, as well as the law on our side. Come join us and show you care.