P.S. 9's squeeze has been stopped! Today, State Commissioner of Education David Steiner blocked the 2011-2012 move of Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School into P.S. 9's building. In a 16-page decision, Commissioner Steiner (at right) concluded that the DOE failed to justify that three schools could fairly share common facilities at 80 Underhill Ave. He annulled the February 3 majority vote of the Panel on Educational Policy (an 8-4 decision) approving the co-location. He directed DOE to stop all planning for the co-location and properly detail how the schools could fairly share the building in a brand-new Building Use Plan.
You can read the Commissioner's decision at this link (To download, go to "File" menu, click "Download original.")
A short take: P.S. 9 won its appeal on the numbers. Starting on page 13, the commissioner cited P.S. 9's curtailed access to the library and the gymnasium, and agreed with parent advocates that DOE had not adequately addressed the apparent, embarrassing imbalance in how the schools would share the building. P.S. 9 students now have room to breathe.
Does this mean that the co-location definitely will not happen? No such luck. DOE may try to sue in the courts to overturn this decision. Or DOE may try to meet the Commissioner's conditions (his determination of what the state's Education Law requires) and re-introduce the co-location plan for P.S. 9's building. It appears that the PEP will have to vote again for Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School to move into the building.