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Charter School Hearing & Education Council Meeting Tonight

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Yesterday, we posted a notice about the monthly District 1 Community Education Council Meeting scheduled tonight at P.S. 142.  It should be noted that an hour before the CEC meeting there will be a state-mandated hearing seeking public feedback on Manhattan Charter School’s charter renewal. There’s a bit of a back story here that’s worth recounting.

The District 1 Education Council had originally planned its regular meeting at another location. They expressed dismay that the public hearing had been scheduled at the same time, in their words, “depriving them (and parents in the district) of the opportunity” to take part in the renewal  process — in “flagrant disregard” for state law.  When the Department of Education declined to change the time of the hearing, CEC 1 moved its meeting to P.S. 142, so anyone interested in attending both events would be accommodated.

Lisa Donlan, CEC president, contends the episode illustrates the DOE’s disregard for parental involvement in the decision-making process. She lodged complaints with elected officials, including State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and City Councilmember Margaret Chin.

A DOE official apologized for the scheduling conflict but said the public hearing had been specifically planned on the same night as Manhattan Charter School’s Open School Night — when many parents will already be on hand and, presumably, be more likely to attend the hearing.

The charter school hearing begins at 530 – the CEC meeting follows at 630. P.S. 142 (Manhattan Charter School) is at 100 Attorney Street. People interested in speaking at the hearing should sign up in person at 5pm.

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