Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is moving to block three charter schools from using space inside public school buildings, announced Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina on Thursday.
De Blasio, a Democrat, has long sought to curb the influence of charter schools in the city. He was critical of the decision of his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, to give the charter schools free rent in the city-owned buildings.
The schools had already hired teachers and were admitting students. Their supporters condemned de Blasio’s decision.
But three Brooklyn councilmen condemned the administration for allowing several other charter schools to locate in regular public schools. Vincent Gentile, David Greenfield and Mark Treyger said that de Blasio did not go far enough in keeping charter schools out of public schools in their respective districts.
“If the overarching consideration is what’s in the best interest of the students, then we should deny these charters entry into” a Coney Island school, Gentile said.
While noting that he was not anti-charters, Greenfield said he would fight “tooth and nail” the decision to locate a charter in a Bensonhurst public school.
“This co-location will come at the expense of the school’s dedicated staff and hard-working students,” Greenfield said in statement.
In a follow-up email, Greenfield said that putting charter schools in these public schools would be detrimental to the existing public schools. He added that every situation is unique and in this case the city did not individually review each school.