Accelify Blog

Low-Performing Schools Get the ‘Okay’, but They’re on Their Own (NY)

July 15, 2010

You can stay open, but you’re on your own.

That’s the message sent yesterday to the 19 low-performing schools that were slated for closure but were kept open by an NAACP and teachers union l awsuit.

The teachers union had pushed for extra assistance at the schools – especially for English-language learners and homeless and special education students.

But in an agreement regarding the 19 schools, city officials said any extra teachers or services will have to come from the schools’ budgets.

"If there are issues about funding at a particular school, we will work with the school to find a solution," said Education Department spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld.

Teachers union President Michael Mulgrew said the most important thing about the lawsuit was shining a light on what he called the "lack of support" for the schools.

"If they can’t implement their education plans with their budgets, then who knows where we’re going to go," said Mulgrew. "I’ve been known to go to court."

Only seven of the 19 schools will have to share space with new schools under the agreement, and one of them, the Manhattan Academy for Arts and Language, will be housed inside the union’s Manhattan headquarters.

The lawsuit blocked the city’s effort to shutter the schools after a judge found the city had failed to inform the community about the impact of the closures.