Monday, January 31, 2011

Lobbying update

As of Saturday, Marc Sternberg, DOE's deputy chancellor of Portfolio Planning, had reiterated to Councilmember Letitia James that his team still intended to close M.S. 571 and to add Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School to P.S. 9's building.

Yet P.S. 9's supporters may be closing strong. Those involved with direct outreach to elected officials and members of the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) —the ultimate voters — report that at least one PEP member opposes the DOE's proposal. Meanwhile, our new data analyses and sets of arguments have given elected officials like Tish James, Eric Adams, Marty Markowitz Hakeem Jeffries and Joan Millman a chance to deepen their discussions with the DOE.

Both PEP members and elected officials tell us that DOE is now taking time to formulate a response to P.S. 9-related questions that voters and officials have been asking them. Until now, DOE has simply dismissed arguments against the plan.

In other words, P.S. 9's supporters may be starting to make DOE sweat. And we may have a chance to make DOE blink. But first, we will need to keep up the pressure — calling and emailing City Hall, Chancellor Cathleen Black, as well as other elected officials, to share with them our best arguments against the plan. Please make sure to send emails to Tino Hernandez, chair of the PEP, urging that the K009 co-location be rejected or delayed. Three good reasons:
1. to allow the extent of P.S. 9's enrollment growth to become clearer;
2. to grant M.S. 571 its fair opportunity under the Chancellor's Regulations to improve;
3. to ensure that DOE gives P.S. 9 a fair hearing of its plan to expand. Implementing the co-location in August 2011 would prevent P.S. 9 from having the chance to submit a proposal.

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