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Principals, charter leaders, real estate experts, and others to tackle school-space issues

Principals, charter school leaders, real estate experts, special education advocates, and others will join together to try to untangle knotty matters involving school space, city officials announced Friday.

The joint City Hall-Department of Education working group, which the city first revealed last week, will tackle school co-locations, overcrowding, and classroom trailers, which lawmakers have urged the city to promptly remove. The 24-member group will recommend long-term solutions to reduce overcrowding, practical strategies for schools that must share space, and ways to ensure that schools have room for the arts and physical education, the City Hall press release said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to block a few charter schools from moving into public buildings, while still allowing several others to do so, prompted Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers to enact a series of sweeping protections for charter schools. Hoping to stem any further fallout from his co-location decision, de Blasio has tried to make amends with charter-school supporters and formed the space-sharing group.

Led by schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, the City Hall-formed group follows several earlier education department initiatives to address space-sharing.

Here are the members of the working group:

Sandra D’Avilar, Principal, P.S. 9
Joanne Mejias, Principal, Manhattan Charter School II
Roshone Ault, Principal, South Bronx Academy for Applied Media
Joseph Canale, Principal, CSI High School for International Studies
RoseAnn Darche, former Special Assistant for Education, Office of the Queens Borough President
Bob Hughes, President, New Visions for Public Schools
Richard Kahan, Founder & CEO, Urban Assembly
David Levin, Co-Founder, KIPP
Emary Aronson, Managing Director, Robin Hood Foundation
Michele Cahill, Vice President, National Programs, Carnegie Corporation of New York
Maggie Moroff, Special Education Policy Coordinator, Advocates for Children and Coordinator, ARISE Coalition
Gloria Corsino, President, District 75 Community Education Council
Miriam Aristy-Farer, President, District 6 Community Education Council
Alim Gafar, Co-Chair, Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Committee
Isaac Carmignani, Co-President and Zoning Chair, District 30 Community Education Council
Eric Greenleaf, member of Speaker Silver’s Overcrowding Taskforce and Professor of Marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business
David Umansky, CEO, Civic Builders
Adam Flatto, President, The Georgetown Company
Jonathan Gyurko, President, Leeds Global Partners and former official, NYC Department of Education and United Federation of Teachers
Ellie Engler, Director of Staff, United Federation of Teachers
Burt Sacks, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, City University of New York
Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education
Maria Fernandez, Coordinator, Urban Youth Collaborative
Luis Garden Acosta, President, El Puente

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