This afternoon, we’ll be headed over to 1 Centre Street where Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh will turn up the pressure on the Department of Education. Last week, there was a flurry of press statements from Stringer and Kavanagh, as well as Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senator Daniel Squadron and Councilmembers Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez related to the never-ending Girls Prep controversy. As we have reported, the DOE decided to use its emergency powers to proceed with Girls Prep’s expansion program, in spite of a state ruling invalidating the plan. A press advisory from Stringer’s office says he will:
…call on the Department of Education (DOE) to immediately rectify confusion fueled by DOE Chancellor Joel Klein’s decision to sidestep a ruling passed down last week by New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner. Steiner ordered the DOE to halt the expansion of Girls Prep, which shares space in a building with P.S. 94 and P.S. 188, after concluding that the DOE had failed to assess the impact of this expansion on P.S. 94. Less than two days after the Commissioner issued his rebuke, news reports revealed that Chancellor Klein would use “emergency powers” granted to the Chancellor in State Education Law, and proceed with the expansion. At the press conference the Borough President will address Chancellor Klein’s use of emergency powers, immediate steps the DOE must take with the P.S. 94 school community, and broader problems the Department must resolve that impact District 75 schools serving high-needs students citywide.
We’ll have more following the news conference.