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Silver Calls Klein’s Girls Prep Decision “Blatant Abuse” of Emergency Powers

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Joel Klein

As we reported last night (via Gotham Schools), the Department of Education has decided to go ahead with the Girls Prep expansion plan in spite of a ruling by the state education commissioner blocking the proposal.  The commissioner, David Steiner, said the DOE failed to consult with parents from P.S. 94, one of two schools sharing space with Girls Prep in a building on East Houston Street.

DOE Chancellor Joel Klein signaled his intention to implement the original plan, invoking a section of state law that permits the DOE to act unilaterally when it is, “immediately necessary for the preservation of student health, safety or general welfare.”

A few minutes ago, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver released a statement, in response to the DOE’s decision:

“The school governance law is crystal clear that the Department of Education must consult with parents in a meaningful way when they are considering co-locating a school in an existing school building.  This is really a breathtaking end run around both the law’s requirements and the right of parents to have a voice in a decision that will impact the lives of their children.  Unfortunately it’s the kind of arrogance that too many parents have come to expect from Chancellor Klein when it comes to having a voice in their children’s education.  This is blatant abuse of the Chancellor’s emergency powers.”


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