Concerns about DOE’s Hudde proposal

NYC Department of Education Proposes Co-location of Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, Kindergarten-5th Grade, with Andries Hudde Middle School.

“Andries Hudde Middle School (I.S. 240) may soon be housing the elementary grades of the Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, if a recent proposal by the New York City Department of Education (DOE) is approved by the State University of New York Charter Schools Institute following a 45-day public review period.

As both a former educator and the Assemblywoman for the 42nd District, I have significant concerns about the DOE’s proposal to co-locate the elementary grades of Brooklyn Prospect Charter School with Andries Hudde, located on Nostrand Avenue between Avenues K and L.

Although the DOE’s plan is intended to make better use of Hudde’s current space—which is not being utilized to capacity—I believe it is the responsibility of our public educational system to give existing public schools the resources that they need to improve and encourage prospective students to attend, rather than to privatize. The Department of Education’s proposal evades that responsibility with a one-size-fits-all solution that does not consider potential ramifications to students and the school’s neighbors.

Based on the numbers alone, housing a kindergarten-5th grade school within Hudde might be a practical choice – but education is more than a numbers game, and the Department of Education’s separation of its schools into three distinct levels – elementary, middle and high school – is not arbitrary. I am concerned that housing elementary and middle school aged students in the same building would create an unhealthy educational environment.

I have additional concerns about the implications of this proposal on quality-of-life in the surrounding community; though enrollment preference will ostensibly be given to District 22 students, the Brooklyn Charter School will likely serve many students from outside of the district as well, thereby increasing school bus traffic in an already congested area.

Assemblywoman Rhoda S. Jacobs represents the 42nd Assembly District.

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