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Although he has just three months left at City Hall, Mayor Bloomberg continues to attempt to extend the reach of his failed policies into the next administration.
More than a dozen co-location sites have been proposed that would not take effect until after he leaves office. The UFT has filed suit to halt the proposals, which would saddle the next mayor with the disastrous results of Bloomberg’s autocratic approach.
In one instance, students at Washington Irving HS found they have been relegated to second-class citizenship in shabby classrooms, while the Success Academy charter school has usurped nearly an entire floor, completely renovated and with plumbing that works.
It is a microcosm of the “tale of two cities” so often cited by Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate for mayor who received the UFT’s endorsement on Sept. 18. It is a tale that has played out repeatedly in our schools, as co-locations have carved out precious space and resources in schools throughout the city.
Bloomberg’s approach also has been strikingly tone-deaf to the communities he professes to serve with his misguided policies.
Staten Island’s Midland Beach, hit hard by Hurricane Sandy last year, has yet to fully recover. But that didn’t stop Bloomberg’s Department of Education from proposing the co-location of a new school at IS 2 in the still-traumatized community.
It’s no surprise that more than 600 students, parents and teachers came out in force at a meeting to protest the plan to give half the school’s population to a new IS 12 in the same building. At IS 2, a broken boiler only heats half the building and programs have been cut, but the new school will have $160,000 in start-up funds.
Bloomberg’s co-location policy has been a setback for students, and it’s leaving quite a mess for his replacement.