No School in My Back Yard
August 31st, 2007

Nearly two weeks after the Department of Education recognized the success of transition schools in getting potential high school dropouts back on track, Councilmember James F. Gennaro and residents of a Queens neighborhood are planning to protest a new location for one.

According to a story in The New York Times nearly two weeks ago, students attending transition schools or institutions who cater to older high school students at risk of dropping out are increasingly getting their high school diplomas, albeit in five, six or seven years.

Because of these schools’ success, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein is planning to open nearly 30 more of the institutions throughout the city.

One of those locations, according to Gennaro’s Spokesperson Lee Landor, is about to emerge, unannounced by the Department of Education, at the former Queens of Peace School in Kew Gardens Hills. The department, Landor said, did not let the community or the neighborhood’s elected officials know it was signing a 20-year lease to open up the transfer school.

“It’s really just the community feels so left out,” Landor said. “It’s almost hurtful.”

Landor contended that the community’s opposition is not in regards to the nature of the school, but to the lack of communication and notification.

According to a press release announcing the rally, Gennaro is urging the state legislature to give the City Council authority over the department’s leased school locations.

This is not the first case of community opposition recently in regards to school location (though most of the time its a community craving a school, not criticizing it).

Whether complaints on overcrowding or NIMBYism, school location is, of course, bound to be another education hot topic this year.

By on August 31, 2007, 12:26 pm
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