New York City and State Move to Shut Down Brooklyn Charter Network

Marion Herbert's picture
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

City and state education officials announced that they plan to close an entire network of charter high schools in Brooklyn that have suffered management and financial woes for years.

One day after New York City Department of Education officialsdeclared their intention to close Williamsburg Charter High School at the end of this school year, the state’s Education Department moved to shutter the two other high schools that are run by the same management organization: Believe Northside Charter High School andBelieve Southside Charter High School.

If the schools close in June, it will affect more than 1,500 students, the largest impact any charter school closing in the city would have to date.

The three high schools, all of which are located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, were founded by Eddie Calderon-Melendez, who runs their management organization, Believe Network. Mr. Calderon-Melendez did not respond on Tuesday to an e-mail request for comment, and someone who answered his cell phone hung up before answering questions.

Williamsburg Charter was authorized and opened by the city’s Department of Education in 2004, but the other two Believe schools were granted charters by the state in 2009 and are so new they have not even grown to serve grades 9-12.

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