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Parent group may join fight against Black's appointment

Cathie

Cathie Credit: Office of the Mayor

A Brooklyn father’s lawsuit to block Cathie Black‘s school-chancellor appointment may lead a group of 15 parents to join the legal fight.

Norman Siegel, who represents the Deny Waiver Coalition, said Sunday that the group supports Eric Snyder, who was the first parent to file a lawsuit against Black's appointment.

Snyder charges that state Education Commissioner David Steiner was wrong to give Black a waiver because she does not have a master’s degree, which state education law requires, according to court papers.

“We agree with him [Snyder], and we think the point he raised should be sufficient to nullify the waiver, and if not, we have other arguments” to make, Siegel said.

The group will decide this week whether to file a lawsuit, Siegel said.

Black was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last month, but needed a waiver from Steiner because she lacks education experience. Steiner approved the waiver only after Bloomberg agreed to install a deputy chancellor with an education background.

Coalition leader Noah Gotbaum, who has three children in pubic schools on the Upper West Side, said he collected 13,000 signatures on a petition protesting Black.

“Parents are outraged — both in terms of how this decision was made, the person who was chosen, and how the law was essentially skirted to give her a waiver,” he said.

Snyder's case will go before a judge Dec. 23 in State Supreme Court in Albany. Snyder did not return a phone message.

DOE spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz said in an email statement that “it’s time to put politics aside and remember that it’s in the best interest of all of our students for [Black] to succeed as the next chancellor.”

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