Two state assemblymen put out a statement in opposition to the proposed kindergarten through Grade 5 Destine Preparatory Charter School.
An application was resubmitted to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, which bills itself as the fifth largest authorizer of charter schools in the U.S., and the charter school’s would-be founder, Re’Shawn Rogers, said on Sept. 5 that the school is likely to open August 2022, with a first-year enrollment of 116 students.
In a joint statement, Assemblymen Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, and Phil Steck, D-Schenectady said: “We strongly oppose putting state funding toward a charter school in the City of Schenectady. Schenectady has the most diverse School Board in the history of the City. We have confidence that the School Board will ensure a fair and equitable education for all students so that Schenectady will once again be a leader among all public schools in the nation, as it was years ago.”
The statement went on to question whether charter schools improve educational outcomes while diverting resources from “tried-and-true public schools, which Schenectady can ill afford, and distract attention from the mission of a fair and equitable public education.
“Our focus should be on improving our existing school district and ensuring it has the resources necessary to provide a safe learning environment where every student has the opportunity to succeed,” Santabarbara and Steck said.
A school district spokeswoman said nine people spoke during Wednesday’s public hearing, excluding Re’Shawn Rogers, the charter school’s would-be founder who provided a statement at the beginning of the hearing.
The assemblymen called it “unfair to our School Board and the students striving for success in public school to place the additional burden of a charter school upon them. Charter schools are an idea that did not pan out. As legislators, we will continue to focus on delivering for our public schools, not on unnecessary diversions.”
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Categories: Schenectady County