Closing Schools: Making Room for Charters

  • - 97 Closed Schools
  • - 25 Closing Schools
  • - 125 Charter Schools

Most of the 122 schools that the Department of Education has already closed or is planning to close are located in the neighborhoods where the city’s 125 charter schools are concentrated: the South Bronx, Harlem and central Brooklyn. This may be a coincidence, but it certainly doesn’t look like one.

If you map all the charters over the already-closed 97 schools and the 25 planned closings, they show a disturbing pattern that disproportionately affects communities of color and poor neighborhoods.

And many of the closing schools are not failing. They just serve high-needs kids, many of whom have not received the level of services they require to succeed.

Ten of the schools on this year’s DOE closing list have charter schools in their buildings that plan to expand or charters are scheduled to move in.  They are all located in the South Bronx, Harlem, East Harlem and central Brooklyn.

Why is the DOE shutting down neighborhood schools and giving the space to charter operators? Why is it closing schools that serve the most vulnerable students and replacing them with charter schools that generally do not take such high-needs students, and admit children by lottery? What kind of school system is it building?

The DOE needs to support struggling schools, not walk away from them.

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