MANHATTAN (CN) – A group of parents filed suit Tuesday to stop the New York City Board of Education from closing two schools in Harlem and one in Brooklyn without listening to the community or giving the schools the opportunity to improve.
Parents say the board unilaterally decided to shut down Countee Cullen School and Family Academy in Harlem and Christopher School in Brooklyn “without the consent or involvement of the very people the community school serves.”
“This type of disenfranchisement of communities is taking place in schools such as P.S. 150, P.S. 194 and P.S. 241, which are being erased from the zoning map, instead of having efforts made, by working with parents, teachers and administrators, to improve them,” according to the lawsuit in New York County Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs add that by eliminating the sole zoned school in certain geographic areas, the board will also eliminate the purpose of the school zones: to preserve the right to a guaranteed seat in a particular school.
The board lacks the authority to alter school zones without approval from the Community Education Councils, the lawsuit claims.
Plaintiffs seek an injunction halting the closures. They are represented by Alan Klinger with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, and by Arthur Eisenberg with the New York Civil Liberties Foundation.