News update on elections, federal investigation into DOE’s violation of student privacy and proposed capital plan – and how you can help!

November 9, 2018

Much has happened since we last spoke.

  • Tuesday’s elections will lead to a real sea-change in the NY State politics.  We will be reaching out to the Assembly and the newly elected Democratic majority in the State Senate with proposals on how to ensure more accountability for charter schools and to reform Mayoral control by adding checks and balances. If you’d like to be part of this effort, please email us at
  • Last fall, Johanna Garcia filed a FERPA complaint with the federal government about the DOE’s practice of allowing charter schools to access her child’s personal information so they could send her marketing materials and recruit more students.  Now the US Department of Education and the NY State Education Dept are investigating her complaint, as reported in the NY Post.  More about this on my blog – including the US Dept of Education’s letter announcing the launch of this investigation, and an earlier letter from Council Members Dromm, Treyger, Lander and Levin to the Mayor and Chancellor, urging them to stop this practice, which not only violates student privacy but by helping charters expand, diverts more funding from our public schools. If you’d like to add your voice to this campaign, please send a message to the Mayor and the Chancellor now by clicking here.
  • The new proposed five-year capital plan was released last week, and I was quoted in the Daily News and Wall St. Journal about it.  The good news is that it funds 57,000 new seats — more than the last plan.  Thanks to all of you who signed petitions and sent letters about this. The bad news is that this will not fill the need, either according to DOE’s estimate last fall, or our more realistic estimate that more than 100,000 seats are necessary – considering  there are over 575,000 kids in overcrowded schools already. Moreover, spending on class size reduction in the new plan was cut from $490 million to only $150 million– far less than the $550 million to be spent on new 3K and preK seats, of which $472 million is proposed 3K students alone.

Once again, the Mayor has made clear his priority is to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the further expansion of 3K and preK, rather than ensure a quality education for students in grades K through 12 – which would require considerably more space for smaller classes than he’s prepared to fund.

More soon, Leonie

Categories Newsletters, Updates | Tags: | Posted on November 10, 2018

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