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**For Immediate Release November 11, 2019**

Contact:
Liz Baker,
646-902-4200
Liz.Baker@successacademies.org

Ann Powell,
646-894-6407
Ann.Powell@successacademies.org

 997 DAYS AND COUNTING: MAYOR DE BLASIO DODGES PROMISE TO QUEENS FAMILIES 

Success Academy Parents Desperate for Permanent Middle School Promised in 2017

New York, NY — It has been 997 days since the De Blasio administration was formally notified that students in four Success Academy elementary schools needed a middle school in southeast Queens. Increasingly outraged by the city’s inaction, parents have sent 2,500 emails over the past two weeks to local elected officials, including Senator James Sanders Jr., Assembly Member Vivian Cook, Council Member Donovan Richards, and Council Member I. Daneek Miller. They have logged in almost 600 phone calls to the mayor’s office.

Mayor de Blasio’s willful neglect is exiling 227 rising middle school scholars, forcing them to leave Success Academy and return to district schools, where on average only one in three students is able to read or do math at grade level.

“I’m disappointed because I’ve been in this school for four years,” said Pearl Paul, a fourth grader at Success Academy Far Rockaway. “I want to continue here. We don’t want to leave.”

“Parents are exercising their civic rights,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “It’s time for the mayor to exercise his authority and provide a permanent space for these children to learn. Our kids and our families deserve a great middle school!”

Success Academy opened its first elementary schools in Queens in 2014, and the administration provided space for all four elementary schools. City Hall has known from the beginning that the elementary schools would expand by roughly 300 students per year — and that these scholars would need a middle school as they got older.

On January 23, 2017, Success Academy made its first formal request for a permanent space for the 2018-19 school year. In October of that year, Success Academy agreed to temporarily double up its first cohort of Queens middle schoolers for the 2018-19 school year with the understanding that the city would provide a permanent location the following year (see letter from Deputy Chancellor Rose, November 20, 2017).

Although Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza have publicly stated several times since early September that Success Academy Queens families will have a middle school for next year, no administration officials have contacted the network with details. The last meeting between Department of Education representatives and Success was on October 8 at Tweed Courthouse; DOE representatives showed up without a single potential site. By state law, the “space must be reasonable, appropriate and comparable and in the community school district to be served by the charter school and otherwise in reasonable proximity.” [New York State Education Law §2853(3)]

According to the city’s own data and analysis by independent researchers, this area of Queens has six half-empty school buildings, each with 430 to 900 available seats, that could be used to open a middle school.

Parents of the 2,200 Success students in Queens have been pleading with the city for months. Since July, parents have sent hundreds of emails, met with their local elected officials, and secured nearly 13,000 signatures on a petition — all in an attempt to get the mayor to be accountable to their children. When parents tried to deliver the petition signatures to Mayor de Blasio, they were shut out of City Hall. In September, 4,000 parents, scholars, and teachers rallied in Roy Wilkins Park to demand action from the mayor. In October, scholars held a press conference on the steps of City Hall, and the mayor walked right past them without acknowledgement.

Underutilized Buildings In Southeast Queens (2018-19)*

CSD

Building

Building Capacity

Total Enrollment

Unused Seats

Page Number in Blue Book*

28

Q072, 133-25 Guy R. Brewer Blvd.

1,443

733

710

141

29

Q490, 207-11 116th Avenue

2,163

1,648

515

149

27

Q400, 156-10 Baisley Blvd.

1,857

1,270

587

137

29

Q238, 88-15 182nd Street

1,733

1,301

432

148

28

Q690, 116-25 Guy R. Brewer Blvd.

991

510

481

144

27

Q410, 100-00 Beach Channel Drive

2,893

1,903

990

136

*Source: “Blue Book” — Department of Education Enrollment, Capacity, and Utilization Report 2018-19

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 ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS

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 45 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 18,000 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. Success Academy schools received more than 17,000 applications for about 4,000 open seats for the 2019-20 academic year.

For more information about Success Academy, go to successacademies.org.

  • Stay in Touch!


    Prospective Parents: If your child will be entering Kindergarten through 4th grade for the 2018-19 school year, please register below to receive more information regarding your neighborhood Success Academies.

  • Register


    Prospective Parents: Register below to be notified when the application for the 2017-18 school year becomes available and to receive more information about Success Academy Charter Schools.