Queens Leaders Slam Proposed Co-Locations

BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA
Staff Writer

On Tuesday, more than a dozen local leaders gathered at the steps of Queens Borough Hall to protest the Dept. of Education’s proposed co-locations in the Borough beginning the 2014-2015 school year.

More than a dozen local leaders protested the DOE’s 23 proposed co-locations in the Borough.  Photo by Ira Cohen

More than a dozen local leaders protested the DOE’s 23 proposed co-locations in the Borough.
Photo by Ira Cohen

Elected officials, community board members and representatives from the United Federation of Teachers each slammed the proposals, which they fear will have a devastating impact on New York City public school students, teachers and parents.

“Once again, the Bloomberg administration is trying to implement policies in our schools without understanding the consequences – without understanding the impact on people,” said organizer and Deputy Majority Leader, Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans).

The DOE has proposed 23 co-locations in Queens within the next four years – one of which would place an elementary school inside a high school while another would place three schools in the same building.

The timing of the proposals, just two-and-a-half months before Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12-year regime will come to an end, had many protestors convinced that the administration is trying to impose its will on students long after they leave office.

“It’s important to note, especially for the press, that this is going to be a new administration in two-and-a-half months,” said Democratic candidate for Borough President, Melinda Katz. “To do co-locations now, which sets the policy for a long time to come – it really just doesn’t make sense. Let’s wait until January to have the discussions. It is crazy to do this now.”

“We need a change, and it’s outrageous that the new administration will be hindered and saddled with these old ideas when we want reforms in our education system,” echoed Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens). “We will be working hard together, all of us in Queens, to make sure our Mayor doesn’t try to force his old policies on our new administration.”

Reach Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikowska@queenspress.com or
@nkozikowska.