Queens church shows support for charter schools - New York News

Queens church shows support for charter schools

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Outside the New Jerusalem Baptist church in Jamaica, Queens, a dozen parents voiced support for charter schools including the proposed Success Academy elementary school in Jamaica. Mayor Bill de Blasio will not permit elementary school kids to co-locate in a high school for safety reasons.

Shimona Kirkland's daughter attends a charter school in Queens. She was joined by Congressman Gregory Meeks, who believes pro- and anti-charter school politicians -- meaning the mayor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo -- are moving to middle ground to help both successful charter schools and failing traditional public schools.

Associated with this Baptist church is the Rachdale Early Advantage Elementary Charter School. With longer hours, non-union teachers, 35 church volunteers, a casino paying for renovations and taxpayer funds the school has scored B grades -- much higher than area traditional public schools. 500 students are on a waiting list for 34 openings. But when these fourth graders enter sixth grade they will have to return to failing area middle schools.

So the church associated with this charter school is willing to donate this parking lot to build a charter middle school. It would cost $10 million, most of it from taxpayer funds. Mayor de Blasio has argued if the city starts paying for this type of project it will take away money from traditional public schools.

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