From the NY Times:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn unveiled a proposal on Saturday to convert four Roman Catholic schools singled out for closing into public charter schools, an 11th-hour lifeline meant to preserve the education provided in the buildings and stave off potential overcrowding in city schools.
It would be the first time such a plan was undertaken in New York and could serve as a model for converting other Catholic and private schools. Mr. Bloomberg framed the plan as an unlikely alliance, the product of creative thinking in a time of economic distress. He said it would “bring stability and much-needed predictability back” to families with children at some of the 14 schools in Brooklyn and Queens that the diocese has marked for closing at the end of the academic year because of declining enrollment and rising operating costs.
At the same time, it would ameliorate what could be an overwhelming influx of students from closed Catholic schools into crowded neighborhood public schools. The four new schools would have room for 1,000 students; students currently enrolled in the parochial schools would be guaranteed seats.
The city would lease the buildings from the diocese, but religious instruction would be banned and religious symbols in the buildings would be covered.