NYC parents, students protest imminent school closures

Parents, teachers, students and community leaders packed into a downtown Manhattan auditorium in an impassioned last-ditch effort to save their schools from closing.

The Panel for Education Policy was considering the fate of 13 city schools slated for closure, including 8 schools that are part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's renewal program, which aims to get failing schools back on track with increased funding and resources.

One of those renewal schools is PS/MS 42 in the Rockaways, which bused dozens of people to the meeting, including Jamie Hanerstumpf, a 6th-grade teacher who has been at the school for 26 years.

The Department of Education said the decision to close the schools was based on analyses of test scores, enrollment, and graduation rates, among other factors.

Outgoing Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina has said students at the schools designated for closure would be better served at other schools.

But parents, like Daisy Griffin, who heads the PTA at PS 25 in Bed-Stuy, worry that uprooting students, including her 4th-grade son, will be detrimental.

New York City Council Member ark Trayger is the chair of the city's education committee. He said the renewal schools up for closure weren't given adequate time to turn around.

Some students from New Explorers High School in the Bronx said they agree.