Dept. of Education proposes closure of 5 Bronx schools

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The Department of Education announced Monday its proposal to close and merge a slew of New York City schools, including several in the Bronx.

Chancellor Carmen Farina proposed to close five schools in the Bronx, claiming that when attempts to renew schools with additional resources and guidance are not successful, it is best for the students to be served at higher-performing schools.

The Bronx schools proposed for closure include New Explorers High School, Urban Science Academy, P.S. 92 Bronx School, Felisa Rincon De Gautier Institute and Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation.

Four other Bronx schools are being merged, including Holcombe L. Rucker School of Community, Longwood Preparatory Academy, Accion Academy and Entrada Academy.

There are 21 renewal schools that are being promoted to "rise schools," because of the progress they have made since entering the renewal program, including P.S. 154, the Bronx Early College Academy for Teaching and Learning and Dreamyard Prep.

While the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation was not part of a renewal program, the DOE says it has been monitoring the school and provided ongoing support dating back to the 2016-2017 school year, including the addition of safety agents, the expansion of parental engagement and increased staff training.

The chancellor says the school has remained unstable despite the interventions. In September, a student of the school, Matthew McCree, was stabbed to death by another classmate.

McCree's mother and lawyer are calling on the mayor to fire Chancellor Farina, as they say that would be the first step in finding a solution and a more effective method of conducting safe New York City education.

"Closing the school is not attacking the issue. The issue is the administration that they have," says Louna Dennis, McCree's mother. 

The Panel for Education Policy will vote on the proposed closures in February.

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