West Brooklyn Charter School to Displace Artists and Small Businesses Instead of Public School Kids for a Change

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07/27/2011 1:52 PM |

The video for Drakes Best I Ever Had, shot at Bishop Ford, future home of the Brooklyn Prospect Chater.
  • The video for Drake’s “Best I Ever Had,” shot at Bishop Ford, future home of the Brooklyn Prospect Chater.

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that the public school parents’ group Class Size Matters has filed a new lawsuit challenging the Department of Education’s regular practice of co-location—placing city-funded, privately operated charter schools in public school buildings—charging that the customary $1-per-year lease arrangements make for an unequal allocation of DOE resources. (According to state law, the space should be provided “at cost”; I suppose I’d be curious to see some per-pupil funding ratios for public vs. charter school kids that take the value of classroom space into account.)

Public-school parents are increasingly skeptical of co-location in general—justifiably so, since, as we’ve seen, Bloomberg’s DOE has been known to fudge numbers so as to show that public schools need less space than they actually do, and thus justify siphoning off classroom space and resources to charters.

But, the Eagle reports, at least one controversial co-location has been happily resolved.

The Daily News also has the story: The Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, which had been allocated space within Sunset Park High over the objection of public school parents and teachers, will now move to a scattering of open classrooms in Windsor Terrace’s Bishop Ford High School, a private Catholic school, thanks to a deal brokered by Councilman Steve Levin. They’ll stay there for two years, until their own building in Gowanus is complete.

There’s just one problem, the Brooklyn Paper reports: around 100 people already live in that building in Gowanus, on Third and Douglass. Apparently, landlord Jack Elo struck a deal with the Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, and has delivered eviction notices to all tenants. Residents of the loft building include design and photography firms along with residents who’ve lived there as long as 15 years.

“Whatever the case, parents in Park Slope and Gowanus — facing a dearth of good middle schools — care more about gaining a new school than the fate of temporarily homeless artists,” writes the Brooklyn Paper‘s Natalie O’Neill, in a statement that her editors weirdly left in despite it being shallow sociological conjecture unsupported by any actual reporting.