BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | Earlier this month, Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza toured P.S. 64, Tompkins Square Middle School and The Earth School.
The trio were the first Community Education Council District 1 schools visited by the chancellor this year, according to Naomi Pena, C.E.C. 1 president.
C.E.C. District 1 includes the East Village between E. 14th and Delancey Sts. east of Fourth Ave./Bowery and also part of the Lower East Side.
Assemblymember Harvey Epstein was on hand for the tour.
“TY @DOEChancellor Carranza for visiting some amazing schools we have in District1! I’m glad we had a chance to discuss arts in education, more funding 4 Title I schools, diversity admission, & the probs w/ Half-Fare MetroCards that don’t serve our students. Come back any time!”
The Feb. 7 visits were coordinated with Epstein, who extended an invitation to the chancellor last spring. District 1 Superintendent Carry Chan Howard was also present during the tour.
Highlights from the schools chancellor’s tour included a visit to The Earth School’s rooftop garden and an impromptu jam session in the music room of Tompkins Square Middle School. The latter was fitting for Carranza, given that in December he announced a $17 million increase in arts funding for city schools.
According to a representative from Epstein’s office, Principals Abbe Futterman, Robert Simon and Marlon Hosang got the chance to speak with the chancellor, district superintendent and assemblymember one on one “about issues they felt were important to their schools.”
D.O.E. has not responded to questions from The Villager about what exactly those issues were.
The chancellor also promised to return to each school for a longer visit.