250 Success Academy Parents Mobilize for Parent Choice, Meeting Virtually with 50 Elected Officials
February 26, 2021
**For Immediate Release, February 25, 2021**
Sam Chafee, 401-368-5124
SA parents meet with Assmemblymember Al Taylor (bottom right).
NEW YORK, NY — More than 250 Success Academy parents mobilized for a week-long series of virtual meetings with elected officials to advocate for parent choice and urge them to eliminate the arbitrary charter “cap” — a statutory limit on the number of charter schools that can open in New York City. The current cap was put in place by the New York State Legislature in 2010 and was hit in March of 2019, preventing new charter schools from opening in NYC.
Parents pointed to the soaring demand for charters, which continue to outperform traditional public schools in NYC as a reason to lift the charter cap. Last year, more than 81,000 families applied for only 33,000 open seats, leaving 48,000 children on waitlists. According to the most recent data from School Digger, 23 of the top 30 schools in New York were charter schools — 20 of which were SA schools.
Parents sighted the widening educational inequality the pandemic has had on low-income families and pointed to the educational excellence of charters like SA, whose students are primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
“Success Academy has given us continuity and stability throughout the pandemic — my kids receive a full day of live instruction from engaging teachers. They responded quickly to our children’s needs and for that I feel very fortunate,” said Sabrina Skelton, parent of two scholars at SA Bronx 4.
“It is always a pleasure to meet with kids and parents in my district — I am proud to share in the same values of putting our children first, putting their education first and ensuring access to opportunity for all,” said Senator Kevin S. Parker.
“Over the last year the pandemic has laid bare the drastic inequities of our educational system. We must allow parents the freedom to choose what is best for their children and families. I am thankful for the work that Success Academy has done and it’s due to the faculty, the efforts of our younger leaders and the parents who make it their mission to get involved,” said Assemblywoman Maritza Davila.
Parent demand exceeds the number of available charter seats in all 32 of the city’s community school districts — often many times over. Yet new charters are currently prohibited from opening. The ratio of 2019-2020 applicants to seats by borough is as follows:
Brooklyn – 2:1
The Bronx – 3:1
Manhattan – 2:1
Queens – 4:1
Staten Island – 1.5:1
(*Data from NYC Charter School Center)
Sixteen states eliminated or raised charter school caps since 2009. As students across NYC are experiencing deep learning loss as a result of the pandemic, parents urged elected officials to give families as many options as possible, starting by eliminating the charter cap.
Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 47 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 20,000 students, primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are students of color, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. In 2020, 100% of SA’s third and largest class of 99 graduating seniors were accepted to college, with 22% accepted to highly selective and 47% to selective institutions, with robust financial aid packages; 82% of the class will be the first in their families to attend college.
For more information about Success Academy, go to successacademies.org.