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Parents disapprove of charter school at PS 15

The schools chancellor spoke with parents at IS 59 in Springfield Gardens last week regarding co-location and other educational topics.
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Parents and community activists from southeast Queens expressed their concerns about the project to co-locate a Success Academy school at the IS 59 building in Springfield Gardens during a meeting with the city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

The charter school is set to open this September.

The community opposes the opening of the new school at IS 59, but Fariña explained to the audience at PS 15, in Springfield Gardens, that the city Department of Education is just abiding by state regulations.

“The community opposes all these plans,” said Karen Plummer, a community activist who attended last week’s meeting. “People want to know how many more charter schools are coming here.”

Others in the community, however, do not have any concerns about the Success Academy moving in. All 120 seats that were available for kindergarten and first-grade are filled.

“The biggest issue during the meeting was the co-location at IS 59,” said Alicia Hyndman, president of Community School District 29, which covers a large swath of southeast Queens. “During the meeting, I believe the chancellor answered most of the questions raised.”

Aside from IS 59 at 132-55 Ridgedale St., the educational organization is ready to open another charter school for kindergarten and first-graders at the former St. Puax Catholic School building in Rosedale.

Residents also complained about the proposed plan to add two more new schools to Campus Magnet High School, a building in Cambria Heights that already houses four other schools. At one point, the building was home to five.

On the other hand, in the next year or two, two of the schools at the building will eventually close as they are going to be phased out.

The visit to a southeast Queens school was the second in as many weeks for Fariña. She was at IS 59 to discuss the same issue, but parents and community leaders claimed they were not informed of her presence at the school.

Success Academy recently announced its plans to submit applications to open another four charter schools in Queens because of what the educational organization that former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz leads called an “all-time high” in demand for charter school seats.

The plans for the four schools in Queens include one for School District 27 in South Ozone Park that would open in 2015 and for 2016, one each in Districts 24 in western Queens, 28 in Jamaica and 30 in the Long Island City-Jackson Heights area.

Reach reporter Juan Soto by email at jsoto@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 1:02 am, June 30, 2014
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