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Union voices new concerns over city's school closure rules

After successfully suing to stop the city from closing schools last year, the city’s teachers union is raising a new set of concerns that could pave the way for another legal battle.

At last night’s meeting of the Panel for Educational Policy, a United Federation of Teachers official outlined a dozen issues the union has with the city’s new rules governing the kinds of information released about the schools it wants to close. Last year, the union sued the city for writing barebones education impact statements that didn’t include enough data to comply with the state law governing how schools are closed.

Now, the city has a new regulation that calls for more information to be released. This school year, education impact statements should include information about how schools will share space if they’re located in the same building, as well as how a school’s closure or loss of building space will affect special education students and English language learners.

But the teachers union wants still more information. In his letter to the Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg, UFT president Michael Mulgrew called for the reports to include data on how class sizes will change and an explanation of what the city did to save the schools before it decided to close them.

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