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On PEP agenda: Co-locations and a “restart"-related contract

Fifty different schools would be affected by the 18 proposals before the citywide school board tonight.

The Panel for Educational Policy is set to vote on 18 proposals to change how school buildings are used next year. All but one of the plans would introduce co-locations between multiple schools. Eight of the co-location plans involve charter schools and half a dozen involve schools that are set to or proposed to close next year.

A couple of the co-location plans have drawn criticism. Some elected officials in District 1 are upset that Manhattan Charter School II is aiming for public space after school leaders initially said they were hoping to secure private space. In the Bronx, students at two transfer high schools have been protesting the proposed arrival of a third transfer high school, a charter school originally conceived by the city’s former alternative schools superintendent. And the city’s plan to move some grades of a Harlem Success Academy charter school into District 3 has parents there worried about potential impact on area schools.

The panel is also set to consider 14 contract proposals. One of them is for a three-year, $20 million contract with seven nonprofit groups that have been working since last summer in the 14 schools that had been assigned to the federal “restart” model. Those schools had been receiving federal School Improvement Grants to pay for the partnerships, but the state suspended the grants earlier this year after the city and teachers union failed to agree on new teacher evaluations.

The Department of Education has said it would maintain the partnerships on its own and is now asking the panel to approve $6.5 million in public funds to pay for the year. The contract proposal stipulates that federal funds would support the partnerships in the remaining two years, indicating that the city is confident that it will receive state approval for its “turnaround” plans. Those plans dominate the agenda of the next panel meeting, set for April 26.

Rachel will be sending Twitter updates all evening from the meeting at Manhattan’s Fashion Industries High School. View an archive of the tweets below.

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