Court Order Overturns Closure of 19 Schools in New York City: Judge Rules DOE Failed to Consider Educational Impact of School Closures

Zakiyah Ansari Mar 26, 2010

Today the  Supreme Court of New York County overturned the New York City Department of Education’s decision to close 19 schools across New York City.

“The NYC DOE made no meaningful effort to demonstrate how closing these schools would benefit students or what the educational impact would be.The Judge upheld the law which requires that the  educational impacts must be at the center of school closing decisions,” said Zakiyah Ansari, NYC Organizer, Alliance for Quality Education, a petitioner in the lawsuit.

Ansari contiues, “The fact that the DOE failed to follow the law and did not fully consider eductional impacts of school closings did nothing but wreak havoc on our students and division in our communities. The Mayor strongly endorsed the 2009 revisions to the mayoral control law and then, once again, proceeded as if he is above the law. The Chancellor should desist from any effort to block the court order and instead focus in on improving these 19 schools and letting students know the doors will remain open in September.”

The decision found that the NYC DOE, “failed to provide the detailed analysis an impact statement mandates….they have failed to provide any meaningful information regarding the impacts on the students or the ability of the schools in the affected community to accommodate those students.”

Additionally the Judge found that the elected parent bodies must have a meaningful role in the process.  The DOE’s “very arguments would appear to trivialize the whole notion of community involvement in decisions regarding the closing or phasing out of schools.”

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