Panel votes to shutter 19 schools

January 27, 2010 08:30AM

The New York City Department of Education panel voted to officially close 19 schools in the wee hours of this morning, after an approximately nine-hour community hearing that began at 6 p.m. Tuesday night. Despite vociferous protests from community members at the hearing, the panel, comprised of one representative from each borough and eight mayor-appointed members, decided to move forward with the closures, citing poor performance among those schools set to be shuttered. All eight of the mayor-appointed representatives voted in favor of the closures, while four of the five borough representatives voted against them. Beyond the numerous aggravated residents attending the panel, several influential city officials have spoken out against the panel’s voting process. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer claimed that the Department of Education violated proper procedure, arguing that the city agency did not provide his panel appointee with adequate information, while Michael Mulgrew, president of the New York City’s teachers union, said his group was considering a lawsuit against the city. Among the schools set to be closed are the Jamaica High School in Queens, Paul Robeson High School in Brooklyn, and the Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx. Since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office, a reported 91 schools have been shuttered. [NYDN] and

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