The City Council’s Education Committee, chaired by Council Member Robert Jackson, will hold an oversight hearing on the DOE’s Significant School Changes: Closures, Reconfigurations and Community Notification, as well as to consider Res. No. 1263, Proposed Res. No. 1395-A & Res. No. 1906.  Below is information regarding the upcoming hearing:

In 2009, the New York Education Law was amended to require a public review and comment process on all proposals by the Chancellor to close a school or make a significant change in school utilization. (Note that “significant change in school utilization” includes the phase-out, grade reconfiguration, re-siting, or co-location of schools in existing public school facilities in New York City.)  In 2010, the NYS Charter School Act was also amended to require additional procedures in connection with the location or co-location of one or more charter schools in an existing public school building. This hearing will focus on questions and concerns about DOE’s implementation of State requirements regarding significant changes in school utilization.

The Committee will also hear testimony on the following resolutions:

Res. No. 1263 - Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to amend the State Education Law, in relation to mayoral control of the New York City public school system, by requiring that the respective Community Education Council approve a co-location or school closure/phase-out proposal before it may be presented for a vote by the Panel for Educational Policy.

Proposed Res. No. 1395-A - Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to institute a moratorium on school closings and forced “co-locations” in existing schools for a period of at least one year, effective July 1, 2013, in order to study the impact of these policies on all New York City communities, and in particular whether such policies are having a disparate impact on low-income communities, communities of color, disabled students and homeless students.

Res. No. 1906 - Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to amend Chancellor’s Regulation A-190, in order to specify procedures for notifying affected parents of any proposed school closure or significant change in school utilization.

The full text of these resolutions can be found at the following link on the Council’s website: http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Legislation.aspx.  We invite members of Community Education Councils, parents, students, educators, advocates, and all other stakeholders and interested members of the public to testify at this hearing.  Testimony will be limited to 2-3 minutes per person to allow as many as possible to testify.  Although the hearing starts at 1:00 pm, the Administration (Department of Education), as well as other witnesses (such as elected officials) have been invited to testify and answer questions from Council Members at the outset, so we do not expect to hear from others until sometime after 3:00pm.  Please make sure you fill out a witness slip on the desk of the Sergeant-at-arms if you wish to testify.  If you plan to bring written testimony, please bring at least 20 copies.  If you are unable to attend the hearing and wish to submit written testimony, please email your testimony to jatwell@council.nyc.govPlease share this information with any interested groups or individuals. Thank you for your assistance and we look forward to seeing you on October 2nd!  Please note - hearing dates and times are subject to change.  For information about hearings and other events, check the Council’s website at http://council.nyc.gov/html/action/calendar.shtml or, if you’d like to receive email notices of upcoming hearings, you can sign up at the following link http://council.nyc.gov/html/action/signup.shtml.  All hearings are open to members of the public.