Millman Testimony Against Proposed Charter School
November 29, 2011
Brooklyn – Thank you for the opportunity to address you tonight. I am Assemblywoman Joan Millman and I represent Brownstone Brooklyn including the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. I am here tonight to state my firm opposition to the co-location of a charter school at this location at this time. Not once has a parent contacted me to request the opening of a charter school, but I have received 90 emails in opposition. All of our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms are over subscribed and the demand keeps growing. The private school options are also oversubscribed. I have received phone calls from parents whose children were denied seats at our local elementary schools. Many have been placed on long waiting lists only to be informed in the early fall that there was not a seat to be had. An early childhood center located here at K293 solves three problems for our neighborhood youngsters. It allows the Brooklyn School for Global Studies to continue to improve and expand. With the help of a federal school improvement grant this school recently achieved a letter grade of a B. They will not be able to expand if a K to 8 school makes its home here. An early childhood center located here will reduce overcrowding in the upper grade classes in neighboring schools. An early childhood center will provide seats for youngsters who have been denied access to existing programs and reduces overcrowding in these same classes. Charter schools certainly offer parents an alternative choice where schools are scheduled to be closed by the DOE and if area schools are rated D or F in the student performance section of the annual report. That’s simply not the case here. For these reasons I remain opposed to this co-location Thank you.