A much-discussed plan by the New York City teachers’ union to open its own charter elementary school hit rough water recently, when state officials publicly criticized the proposal and postponed an expected vote on whether to approve it.
The United Federation of Teachers had expected the trustees of the State University of New York to vote at their May 24 board meeting on the union’s application to open a 450-student charter school serving grades K-5, starting in September. (“N.Y.C. Teachers’ Union Moves to Open 2 Charter Schools,” Feb. 16, 2005.)
But the day before the meeting, some members of the board’s charter school committee raised questions about the proposed school’s governance and curriculum. They also questioned the appropriateness of granting the American Federation of Teachers affiliate one of a handful of charters left under a state cap that the union has opposed lifting.
The university’s charter schools office had recommended that the board approve the plan, and is now working with the union to resolve the issues ahead of a board meeting later this month. UFT officials said last week they still hoped to open the school on schedule, and to follow it with a second charter school serving grades 6-12 in 2006.