State Senator Brian A. Benjamin to Host Wadleigh Victory Rally

Brian A. Benjamin

April 25, 2018

**For Immediate Release**
April 25, 2017
Contact: Neil D. Reilly, 774.766.2351 | New York State Senator Brian A. Benjamin
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To celebrate the community’s successful campaign to save the Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts’ middle school from truncation by the New York City Department of Education, New York State Senator Brian A. Benjamin will hold a victory rally tomorrow at the school.

WHAT    Press Conference to Celebrate Saving Wadleigh Middle School
WHEN    Thursday, April 26  | 3:30 pm
WHERE Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts
             215 West 114 Street | New York, NY 10026
WHO State Senator Brian A. Benjamin
            Students, Teachers, and Parents from Wadleigh
            Senior Representative of the New York City Department of Education
            Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
            Council Member Bill Perkins
            Assemblymember Inez E. Dickens
            Assemblymember Al Taylor
            Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, President of the NAACP NY State Conference
            C. Virginia Fields, Former Manhattan Borough President & President/CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc
            District Leader Cordell Cleare, District Leader William Allen
            Paul McIntosh, Wadleigh Librarian

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BACKGROUND
Over the last four months, Senator Benjamin and the Harlem community have steadfastly stood with the students and parents of Wadleigh’s middle school to fight the DOE’s proposed truncation of the middle school. Senator Benjamin’s efforts to date include:

  • Joined students and parents in community meetings, small meetings with the DOE, a public hearing, and community rallies, including a student-led rally.
  • Sent a letter to former Chancellor Carmen Fariña with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer asking for more information about how this decision was reached.
  • Introduced legislation, S8001, to require a majority vote of the State Senator, Assembly member, member of the House of Representatives, Borough President, and City Council member who represent a school to approve proposed school closings or significant changes in school utilization.
  • Participated in a recent meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio and new Chancellor Richard Carranza and other elected officials, where he proposed Wadleigh Middle School collaboration concept with FDA II that was reviewed and accepted by the Mayor and DOE.

Wadleigh is a long-standing Harlem institution that provides the students access to a unique arts education in a historic arts incubator. Wadleigh’s truncation proposal was scheduled for a vote with the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) on Wednesday, April 25th, and was pulled from the agenda prior to the PEP hearing.