Anyone will tell you, losing your school can be difficult. Some children [including members of Make the Road New York's Youth Power Project] protested outside the Department of Education Tuesday. They objected to the DOE's policy of closing down failing schools and replacing them with new ones. A lot of these kids said they feel like the DOE isn't supporting them.
"They always say they want us to succeed and want us to learn so they close schools, but that's not right," one student [MRNY Youth Power member Jerome Jones] said.
In the last two years, the state has identified 54 "persistently low-achieving" schools.
The DOE could close them, re-start them -- usually with a charter, transform them, or turn them around. The federal government gives money for each of those options, and the deadline to apply is coming up.
What these kids are upset about is that this year the DOE didn't apply for all the money it could to transform the schools.
The DOE could have applied for 17 schools, but only did 11. At $2 million a year for three years, the protesters say that is a lot of lost money.
But the DOE says that money isn't lost. The department said it will apply for it next year. It didn't want to rush the process to figure out which schools should get which option. DOE officials also say they haven't negotiated everything they're required to with the union.
Since the November NYC elections, MRNY members have been hard at work setting the agenda for our next mayor, City Council and citywide elected officials.
We kicked off "Talking Transition" with a low-wage worker forum and our attorneys have been staffing a Single Stop clinic around the clock at the Transition tent.
Recently, our youth joined the Transitions conversation to bring education and police reform issues into the spotlight for the new elected officials. 17-year-old youth leader Cheyanne Smith was also profiled in the New York Times for her leadership to make NYC schools more respectful, safe, and dignified places for learning.