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The date for a public hearing about a controversial charter school has been changed.
The meeting will now be held on July 16 at 7 p.m. at Shell Bank I.S. 14, 2424 Batchelder Street.
The proposed Brooklyn Dreams Charter School is officially applying to open in School District 21, which includes Coney Island and Bensonhurst, but the upcoming meeting will be held in District 22, spanning Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach and parts of Midwood, Flatbush and Sheepshead Bay.
That’s because the school’s leaders have “identified a possible site” in District 22, according to the State University of New York (SUNY) Charter Schools Institute, which is reviewing Brooklyn Dreams’ application.
Last year, Brooklyn Dreams held a hearing in District 20, which consists of Bay Ridge, Fort Hamilton, Borough Park and part of Bensonhurst.
The school’s leaders hope to secure space in a private facility for a 2010 opening. They’d like to expand to hold grades kindergarten through eight.
The reception for Brooklyn Dreams has been mixed.
In particular, Brooklyn Dreams has been criticized for selecting National Heritage Academies (NHA) to run the school.
According to published reports, some of NHA’s schools have opted to teach creationism as a scientific theory.
“Every one of those allegations was proven false,” insists William Girasole, co-lead applicant for Brooklyn Dreams and the owner of Girasole Real Estate in Dyker Heights. NHA “runs some of the most successful schools in the country.”
Girasole maintains, “We are not a Catholic school. We do not teach creationism. We don’t teach any type of religion. We aren’t anything but a public school.”
Regardless of what it is, some say Brooklyn Dreams doesn’t belong in District 22 since charters are meant for struggling school districts.
“This is the last district it should be going into,” said Christopher Spinelli, president of District 22’s Community Education Council (CEC). “Last year, we were the only district in Brooklyn that was in good standing.”
To remain updated on the public hearing, contact District 22’s CEC at 718-968-6111.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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