The Islamisation of US public schools begins miles from Ground Zero:DOE letter announcing tax payer funded madrassah in Brooklyn
June 22, 2007
Arabic school finds home at last
Officials draft plan for Arabic public school after previous ones failed
BY TANYANIKA SAMUELS
Posted Friday, June 22nd 2007, 4:00 AM
A truce has been struck in the battle to find a home for a controversial Arabic-language public school.
City officials have drafted a plan that calls for the Khalil Gibran International Academy to be housed at 345 Dean St., and includes provisions for the two other schools already in the building, the Daily News has learned.
"After many detailed, thoughtful and at times painful discussions with the [Department of Education], a plan has been presented that we can all support," PTA Vice President Thomas McMahon said yesterday.
The plan, as detailed in a June 19 letter, calls for the academy to operate on the first floor in the former library and a new dance studio to be built for the Brooklyn School of the Arts; and for additional storage and shelving space for the Math and Science Exploratory School, among other provisions.
In an unusual step, the city said it also plans to replace 48 laptops stolen from the well-regarded math and science school last year.
The Education Department and the School Construction Authority will study whether to build additional classroom space for the Arabic-language school's second year.
That study is to be completed by early fall. If construction is deemed unsuitable, the school is to be relocated.
Khalil Gibran International Academy is to move to its own home by September 2009.
"We're glad that by working together, we were able to find an arrangement that works for all the schools in the building," Education Department spokeswoman Melody Meyer said.
When city officials first announced plans to place the Academy in Boerum Hill in May, angered parents argued there was not enough space to accommodate a third school.
A similar argument by parents at PS282 in Park Slope forced city officials to yank the academy from that location.
With this latest plan, space should not be an issue, city officials said.
"The location of [the academy] will not impact any classrooms or office spaces currently used by the other two schools," said Garth Harries of the Office of New Schools.
While concerns linger about managing shared spaces such as the cafeteria and gymnasium, McMahon said, most are committed to making this plan work.
"We can welcome [the Academy] to the building and make all three schools a success," McMahon said.