NEW YORK: Success Academy Wants 14 New Charter Schools
Success Academy Charter Schools said Tuesday it was applying to open 14 more charters in New York City, just months after a high-profile battle with Mayor Bill de Blasio over space in crowded city school buildings.
The high-performing charter network run by Eva Moskowitz, a former city councilwoman, says it wants to grow to meet the demands of thousands of low-income, minority families on its wait lists. The network says more than 14,400 families applied for fewer than 3,000 open seats this year.
Like many charters, the network has drawn fire from critics who argue charters drain precious resources, space and motivated families from regular public schools. Charter supporters say they give important alternatives in low-performing districts. Charters are taxpayer funded but privately operated, and function largely free of union constraints.
The network said it would apply to the charter authorizer at the State University of New York for approvals, which takes months.
A spokeswoman for the city’s department of education said by email that “It’s our goal to invest in all our public schools to make sure parents have great options for their children, regardless of what zip code they live in. We will review these new proposals as SUNY makes its decisions.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Ms. Moskowitz have sparred often in the past. In February, Mr. de Blasio rescinded approval for space for three of her charters.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo intervened by negotiating language in the state budget passed April 1 requiring the city to provide space for charters or chip in for rental costs.
The mayor’s effort to oust the three charters proved pricey; his proposed budget sets aside $5.4 million in the coming year to lease sites in former Catholic schools for the three charters he tried to oust.
The Success Academy network has grown rapidly in recent years. In August it will have 32 schools serving 9,000 children.
Source: The Wall Street Journal – by Leslie Brody
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