My Fox NY
Charter School Fight
By Heather Brown
The fight over charter schools is turning ugly on the Upper West Side. The issue is a proposed school within a school.
Right now there are seven Success Academy charter schools open in the city -- outperforming other city public schools in the communities they serve.
Now, Success Academy wants to expand into the upper west side.
Hahnah Seminara is a parent and is interested.
Seminara says, “We've heard incredible things about their model and as well as their teachers.”
Eva Moskowitz is CEO of Success Academy. She's proposing putting the new school inside Public School 145 at 105th and Amsterdam.
Because of declining enrollment the school now has extra space.
Moskowitz says, “We've got this great public model why should be providing families that are trying to stay in the city and want a great education.”
But many of the parents at P.S. 145 don't want the charter school to take over part of their space. They just got an $11 million grant, which they say partly depends on their extra space.
Tina Crockett is a parent of a P.S. 145 student.
Crockett says, “We just to allow our students to grow and expand and use the resources and use the Magne Grant and we can be just as powerful as a charter school.”
Some parents are so angry they organized a rally opposing the charter school last week. It got a little heated when city councilwoman Gale Brewer said she wanted to choke any parent who wanted to take their kids out of public school.
Brewer says, “I shouldn't have said it but it came from my heart in that I want parents to keep their children in schools that I believe are ultimately the best.”
Brewer says charter schools hurt public education by pulling away dollars.
The proposed charter school's fate is still uncertain. There is still a long, formal process including public hearings and Panel for Educational Policy vote.
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