Panel votes to close 24 failing New York City schools
NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's official - 24 New York City public schools will be closed or overhauled.
Despite an emotional plea from parents, an education panel voted around midnight to close schools in four different boroughs.
The only borough that was unscathed was Staten Island, and two schools were saved ahead of the vote. The decision to keep Grover Cleveland High School and Bushwick Community High School open came just hours before the contentious meeting.
In a statement, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the two high schools "demonstrated an ability to continue their improvements without the more comprehensive actions that are clearly needed at 24 other schools."
The Panel for Educational Policy voted to close the schools due to poor performance, and 1,000 teachers could be displaced.
The city plans to re-open the schools in the fall with the same students, but with new names, new teachers and new administrators.
The meeting leading up to the vote was packed with a fury and disgust that never ebbed.
"It is you who are failing tonight and it's the mayor who has failed for the past 10 years," City Councilman Jumaane Williams said.
Among the speakers was 17 year old Lehman High School student Melvin Hydleburg.
"We are simply your lab rats," Hydleburg said. "You are experimenting with our education."
Parents, teachers and students denounced the closures at the meeting, which lasted more than five hours. One woman accused the panel of using the shutdowns to break the teachers union.
"This is union busting, pure and simple," teacher Megan Behrent said. "And in the process, it is the students who will get left behind."
Walcott says that's not it at all.
"All of this is about making sure our students get a high-quality education," he said. "And taking a look at the closing and making sure the schools benefit in the long run."
Here is the full list of schools that are closing:
Get Eyewitness News Delivered
new york city, school closing, education news
- Malaysia Airlines plane vanishes with 239 aboard
- AccuWeather: Milder, maybe a shower
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- Get WATCH ABC for your mobile device
- Kindergartener leaves school unnoticed in Morrisania
- Missing man found buried in nephew's backyard
- Measles cases confirmed in Manhattan, Bronx
- Florida family falls ill after eating meat with LSD
- Exclusive: Mistaken identity arrest
- Lehigh Valley Dairy recalls orange juice over milk concerns
- Virus hijacks your computer till you pay
- Battling a third party energy company
- Carmen Berra, wife of Yogi Berra dies at 85
- Photos: $3.25M summer home in Ocean City, NJ
- New York City Department of Education
- Independent Schools Admissions Association
- Inside Schools
- After-School Association
- New York State Dept. of Education
- New York Office of Teaching Initiatives
- United Federation of Teachers
- New Jersey Department of Education
- New Jersey Commission on Higher Education
- New Jersey Education Association