This is a petition primarily for NYC parents, teachers and concerned citizens, directed to charter school authorizers in NY State and their affliated offices.
In NYC, our public schools are increasingly overcrowded, a crisis made worse by the insistence of the NYC Department of Education to continue placing charter schools in our district school buildings. This has led to class size increases, the loss of art rooms, science labs, libraries, and preK programs, as well as special needs children receiving their services in hallways and in closets in our district schools.
This petition is to urge the the SUNY board of trustees, the State Education Department, and the Board of Regents, along with their advisers, not to approve any more charter schools in NYC, unless they have a plan to be located in their own space, separate from our existing overcrowded public school infrastructure.
Please feel free to add or subtract from the message below, and/or add details about the overcrowding in your own child's school or district.
In NYC, school overcrowding is at crisis levels and is worsening each year. Class sizes have increased sharply, there has been a double digit percent increase in Kindergarten students, and last spring, more than a thousand children were placed on waiting lists for their zoned school. Meanwhile, many schools throughout the city have already lost their preK programs, art, and science rooms.
All this has been exacerbated by the DOE’s continued insertion of charter schools into buildings where there is inadequate space. In many cases this has led to even larger class sizes, the loss of cluster rooms and libraries, and special needs students receiving their services in hallways and in closets. 87% of NYC principals say they are unable to provide a quality education because of excessive class size, and more than a quarter of them say that the overcrowding has been worsened by the insertion of new schools and programs into their buildings.
Meanwhile, fierce battles over co-location are ripping apart communities, and causing bitter conflicts among parents. If you care about NYC public school children and their chance to learn and succeed, you will approve no more charter schools that will take precious space from our district public schools.