School Closing Planned in Crown Heights

More than 100 students, parents and community members waited over an hour for Department of Education officials to show up and explain their decision to close W.E.B. Dubois High School in Crown Heights. (Photo by Kelly Mena via Kings County Politics)

The NYC Department of Education is closing a school in the immediate area where the Bedford-Union Armory is due to be developed, and concerned students, parents and community members met with representatives of the DOE on Dec. 13 to complain about the decision, which they believe is developer-driven, writes Kelly Mena in Kings County Politics.

Students at the school, named for seminal African-American civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois, will be transferred next year to the Brownsville Academy High School. The school currently has 134 students, reports Mena, of whom “only 1 is of non-black or minority background.”

The city only recently approved the development of the armory in Crown Heights. DOE Deputy Chancellor of Schools Elizabeth Rose and Transfer Schools Superintendent Paul Rotondo told people attending a meeting in the school cafeteria that there had been absolutely no conversations with developers and that the school was being closed because of declining enrollment.

Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley (D-Clinton Hill, Crown Heights) said enrollment has dropped specifically because the DOE starved it of compulsory funding.

“Instead of closing a school that serves as a beacon of hope for students that are in need of a second chance the department should be locating the five years of funding that W.E.B. DuBois High School has yet to receive,” said Mosley.

And Richard Hurley, president of the Crown Heights Community Council, pushed back against the DOE representatives as well.

“There is no doubt about it that there is a need for this school in Crown Heights. When you talk about enrollment as the reason behind the proposal, that’s totally unacceptable. There is so much need, I can look out my window and start enrolling people in this school. We smell a rat, and that rat smells like a developer,” said Hurley.

Ironically, the school’s principal had hoped that the armory development would help, not hurt students. Go to Kings County Politics to find out why, and to learn the timetable for a final decision on the school closing.

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  1. Pingback: – Officials Ask for Delay on W.E.B DuBois High School Vote

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