State Ed building in Albany
Where Regents meet monthly
The Regents committee on Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education today approved five more charter schools, each opening by this fall:
-- Bushwick Ascend (Brooklyn CSD 23);
-- Cultural Arts Academy (Brooklyn CSD 18);
-- Challenge Preparatory (Queens CSD 27);
-- Democracy Prep - Harlem (Manhattan CSD 5); and
-- West Buffalo Charter School.
Approval of these schools leaves just one charter remaining from the Regents 100. The State University of New York has 18 charters available and is reviewing 13 applications for new schools proposed to open in 2011.
Strong Community Support - for Charters Seeking DOE Space
Note that of the four New York City charters, two of them (Democracy Prep and Challenge Prep) are seeking to use district space while the other two are leasing privately-owned space. For all the angst about "co-location" in Harlem and elsewhere, what should not be overlooked is the community support these schools generated. For example, Democracy Prep's flagship school in Harlem received 1,500 applications for 80 available seats in that school for the current year. Few if any charters could boast of such numbers. Challenge Prep has letters of support from every major political figure representing the area of the school's location, including state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Congressman Greg Meeks, Assemblywoman Michelle Titus, City Councilman James Saunders, and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
Co-location is a fact of life for many district schools "sharing" space with other district schools. Considering the demand and support for charters in communities all over the City, there is no reason charter schools should not continue to access available district space.
The full board of Regents tomorrow will formally adopt the committee's action today, making it official. Congratulations to each of the school's founders!
for The Chalkboard
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