P.S. 15 petitions to stop PAVE

P.S. 15 petitions to stop PAVE

Red Hook teachers and parents have launched an online petition to rid P.S. 15 of a charter school.

“Please help save P.S. 15: join over 1,000 paper and electronic signatures and help protect and preserve public education,” reads the message on www.capeducation.blogspot.com, which is the Web site for Concerned Advocates for Public Education (CAPE).

The new group was created by teachers and parents who want P.S. 15, located at 71 Sullivan Street, to regain its building.

In 2008, the city Department of Education (DOE) opened the PAVE Academy Charter School in P.S. 15 with the expectation that the new school would relocate after two years. But PAVE has struggled to find its own building and the DOE now wants to keep the charter school in P.S. 15 for up to five more years.

The DOE issued an Educational Impact Statement last month noting, “In 2010-2011, PAVE will add grade three. It will continue to add one grade per year until it reaches its full grade K-8 scale. PAVE will remain in [P.S. 15] until construction of a new facility for the school is completed. If the construction of the new school facility is not completed by the 2014-2015 school year, when PAVE will serve grades K-7, the Department of Education will re-evaluate the available space in the building to make a determination regarding whether PAVE can remain in the [P.S. 15] building.”

The DOE says there is enough room in the building for both schools since P.S. 15 is 66 percent utilized.

But CAPE questions that figure, insisting, “The assessment does not reflect reality. For example, many of our school’s rooms are serving children with special needs and current regulations do not allow these rooms to have higher occupancy.”

Members of CAPE are expected to air their grievances at a DOE-hosted public hearing on January 19 at 6 p.m. at P.S. 15. CAPE will hold a rally at 4:30 on the corner of Richards and Sullivan streets.

The DOE’s Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) will meet on January 26 at 6 p.m. at Brooklyn Technical High School, 29 Fort Greene Place, to vote on whether or not to extend PAVE’s stay at P.S. 15. CAPE will rally at 4 p.m. across the street from Brooklyn Tech.