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Calling Out Community Board

From the minute I heard about the plan to relocate a reform-school to the campus of Beach Channel high school, I was dumbfounded.

Most shocking, I heard the news from Facebook. That’s like finding out that your flight was canceled after you board a plane at the airport. It’s extremely disappointing to the residents who live near the campus in the Beach 90s and Beach 100s to hear such significant news by way of rumors and Facebook posts.

What’s more troubling is The Dept. of Education (DOE) held meetings and hearings on the subject without telling anyone who would be impacted! Or did they? Hmmmmmmm!!!!!!

Now it has been reported, once again by Facebook, that the DOE has approved the Beach Channel Location to house a reform-school.

You, along with me, must ask yourself: HOW THE HELL DOES THIS HAPPEN?!?!?

Aren’t there checks and balances to prevent these type of disproportionate dangers to our students anywhere on the peninsula and Broad Channel?

There is a clear answer. It is “yes!”

Yes, our Committee for Education on CB 14 could have been keeping the entire peninsula as well as the entire Community Board advised on the proposal to relocate a reform school to the Beach Channel campus on Beach 100th street, simply by holding regular meetings and keeping in contact with reps from the DOE. It’s the sole reason committees exist, situations like this.

There is a real and clear reason why the education committee failed to do its job:

The committee, which deals with education, has not met since August of 2013. That’s more than two school years ago! Perhaps the co-chairs of this committee of education and the Chair for CB 14 believe that the education system on the Peninsula and Broad Channel are running at Blue Ribbon standards. Or perhaps the co-chairs are just too busy within their own communities to do the job they have been appointed to do by the Chair of CB 14!

Some schools on the peninsula are definitely at Blue Ribbon levels, but too many are way below! Either way, something MUST change.

As I’ve been ranting about for the past several months, our Community board is extremely flawed in direct relation to the fact that our current by-laws relegate our Community Board 14, to just a reactive body.

Our by-laws in CB 14 are clear, they say committees meet only on an as-needed basis. This means that committees will continually be a day late and a dollar short in making our peninsula a great place to get an education. Especially if we are continually reacting instead of taking action and looking forward. We should be dealing with education through the windshield, not through the rearview mirror.

My recommendation is the Community Board appoint new Co-Chairs to the Education Committee who want to take a proactive role in regard to education here on the peninsula and in Broad Channel. If we as a Community Board are dropping the ball on something as simple as the relocation of a reform school, what else are we failing at?

My recommendation to anyone who has school age children:  DEMAND BETTER FROM CB 14. We need to take education to the next level.

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