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A snag in city's effort to lease closed Catholic schools: sex ed

Here’s something interesting from this morning’s City Council hearing on school siting: Lorraine Grillo, chief of staff at the School Construction Authority, said the Department of Education has leased 17 parochial school buildings citywide in recent years. That makes sense: Catholic schools are closing every year due to declining enrollment, as a Fordham Institute report recently concluded.

But apparently, leases aren’t possible in some parts of the city where parish authorities restrict DOE rentals to schools serving 3rd grade and below. The reason, according to Grillo: the DOE’s “family living curriculum,” or health curriculum, which introduces the discussion of sexuality in grade 4.

I spent part of this afternoon calling various offices in the Archdiocese of New York, but I haven’t yet found out for sure whether Grillo’s understanding of the situation is correct. I’ll post when I know.

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