The Department of Education withdrew plans to co-locate a charter school at IS 109, the Jean Nuzzi School, in Queens Village, after the Parent Teacher Association and elected officials voiced opposition to the plan.
Over 1,200 parents and community members signed a petition requesting the DOE not to move forward with the co-location, and parents held multiple rallies protesting the co-location. Getting behind these residents were elected officials: Borough President Melinda Katz, state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens), Assemblyman David Wepun (D-Fresh Meadows) and Councilmen Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens), Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), and I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans).
The elected officials wrote a letter to the DOE on June 17, asking them to withdraw the plan.
Opposition to the site stemmed from concerns that the middle school students might be bullied or overwhelmed by the high school students and that an additional school would exacerbate overcrowding in the building. Tensions around inequality can also be a concern in co-locations, with charter school students sometimes having better resources than the public school students they learn next to.
The elected officials praised the DOE’s decision not to move forward with the plan in a joint statement.
“The message is clear: the City has not given up on I.S. 109Q,” they said. “This was the right decision on the part of the DOE, and the community is gratified,” they said.
The elected officials added that the attention on the school highlighted some of its “needs,” including “antiquated facilities which deserve considerable capital upgrades.”