Uncharted: Charter school network seethes, public school supporters cheer as city nixes Bronx, Queens co-location proposals

NYC’s largest constitution school network received’t be increasing into a number of extra Queens and Bronx places, for now.

After dealing with heated opposition, the city’s Division of Schooling put the kibosh on proposals for 3, new Success Academy co-locations in Districts 28 and 29 in Queens and in District 11 within the Bronx. 

Colleges Chancellor David Banks introduced on Monday: “After hearing from community members throughout this entire process that the proposals would create significant challenges for the new schools and the existing co-located schools, the Success Academy proposals have been removed from this week’s PEP agenda. We are committed to continue to work with Success Academies to find suitable facilities for their new schools.”

The PEP had the proposals scheduled for a vote on Tuesday, however the the city’s training division squashed the agenda objects on Monday. 

“After borough-wide advocacy from school community members, advocates, and the people that represent us, DOE listened to us and pulled all Success proposals,” mentioned Geneal Chacon, Bronx Borough President Appointee of the city’s Panel of Academic Coverage.

Success Academy presently has 20,000 enrolled college students throughout their Ok-12 network. There are 30 elementary colleges, 16 center colleges, and three excessive colleges, in keeping with Success Academy.

There are 4 proposed co-locations for elementary colleges for the 2023-24 school yr, considered one of which was accredited in Sheepshead Bay. The three co-locations that had been cancelled had been: 

  • A brand new Success Academy Charter elementary school co-located with M.S. 72 Catherine & Depend Basie, Redwood Center School, and P.S. 993Q contained in the M.S. 72 constructing in Rochdale, Queens

  • A brand new Success Academy Charter elementary school co-located with Queens Preparatory Academy, Excelsior Preparatory Excessive School, George Washington Carver Excessive School for the Sciences, and Preparatory Academy for Writers: A School Board School in Springfield Gardens, Queens. 

  • A brand new Success Academy Charter elementary school co-located with the North Bronx School of Empowerment and Leaders of Tomorrow in Williamsbridge, Bronx

Co-location isn’t new in New York City. In reality, it’s the norm: Most public colleges, together with charters, are co-located, which simply means they share a constructing. Whereas every school has their very own school rooms and hallways, widespread areas like gymnasiums and libraries are shared.

In a letter despatched to Success Academy Households on Tuesday, Success Academy Founder Eva Moskowitz wrote: “The Adams administration suddenly canceled all three of our proposed co-locations in Queens and the Bronx. This is unacceptable. We simply cannot allow politicians and the UFT to block opportunities for children in high-need areas. This decision has far-reaching implications — the new middle schools and high schools we need are also at risk. Thousands of families whose children are in desperate need of better educational options are now stranded. We will not let the Adams administration abandon them.”

Moskowitz thanked the roughly 750 members of the family who supported the growth proposals, as properly as pointed to the constitution network’s petition for the Queens co-location proposal, which had garnered greater than 10,000 signatures. Success Academy urged the group to assist its proposal to make the most of “dozens of excess classrooms that could accommodate hundreds of additional students.”

“We are confident everyone involved will work together for a solution that benefits families and doesn’t let precious school space go to waste,” mentioned James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Middle.

Protesting constitution school progress

Those that opposed the co-location proposals gathered testimonies and resolutions from a number of districts, together with Districts 28 and 29, and stakeholders, together with principals, School Management Groups, Neighborhood Schooling Councils, and PEP members, opposing the Queens proposals. The testimonies pointed to excessive attendance from group members, numbering within the lots of at every assembly, who had been towards the Success Academy co-locations.

College students on the Bronx protest on Jan. 19 expressed disagreement with sharing the campus due to the dearth of present area. “I think they should have their own building,” mentioned one pupil.

The United Federation of Academics organized a current protest on Jan. 19 on the M.S. 113 Richard R. Inexperienced, which shares the campus the place the brand new Success Academy school was being proposed. UFT President Michael Mulgrew penned letters to PEP Chairperson Angela Inexperienced late final week.

Particular wants college students on the M.S. 72 campus in Queens presently fold their health club lessons inside a locker room as a result of the constructing is absolutely used, in keeping with Mulgrew. He known as the proposed Bronx co-location proposal “inappropriate” as a result of the brand new school would intrude on present widespread areas just like the dance studio, library, cafeteria, {and gymnasium}.  

“We also doubt the need for charter expansions,” Mulgrew mentioned. “Much of Success Academies’ “success” comes from the truth that the chain has a practice of discouraging the enrollment of the neediest college students, together with excessive charges of pupil attrition, significantly of youngsters who wrestle with educational or habits points.”

Protest towards Success Academy co-location growth on the Richard R. Inexperienced School Campus in The Bronx on Jan. 19, 2023. Courtesy of Melissa Khan/UFT.
Protest towards Success Academy co-location growth on the Richard R. Inexperienced School Campus in The Bronx on Jan. 19, 2023. Courtesy of Melissa Khan/UFT.

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