Last night the
We packed the entire auditorium with standing room all the way out the doors. The overwhelming majority were against the forced entry of the charter into the existing building. The charter people came and spoke about their wonderful program, etc. but the issue at this point if not whether we are for or against charters but its placement in the public school.
Congressman Anthony Weiner, City Council Member Lew Fidler, Comptroller Bill Thompson and Senator Marty Golden spoke vehemently against the placement. Assembly Member Alan Maisel and Senator Carl Kruger were up in
It was also pointed out by one of the speakers that if Michael Steinhardt, Ms. Berman’s billionaire father, were not a personal friend of Mr. Bloomberg this placement would not even be an issue.
Mr. White of the DOE dangled the carrot that if we went for this for the two years they would then let Marine Park have the 6 - 12 program they have been asking for four years now. He was told that the carrot and stick wouldn't work.
He also promised that the charter school would sign a memo of understanding that they would get out after the two years. He was again told that with the track record of the DOE, we didn't believe that either. This is especially true, since he himself said at the town hall meeting the previous week, when questioned what would they do if the Charter still didn't have a space after two years, he said to the effect we couldn't throw the kids out on the street.
A video of this earlier meeting can be viewed at the www.marineparker.net
Last night, the DOE mostly just listened while person after person stated valid reasons why they did not want the charter housed in Marine Park JHS. At times their boredom was apparent, but the parents and community intend to continue this fight. -- Dorothy Giglio