As District Parents Submit Middle School Applications, Mayor’s Excessive Delay Leaves Charter School Families Without a School
December 5, 2019
**For Immediate Release December 5, 2019**
AS DISTRICT PARENTS SUBMIT MIDDLE SCHOOL APPLICATIONS, MAYOR’S EXCESSIVE DELAY LEAVES CHARTER SCHOOL FAMILIES WITHOUT A SCHOOL
Success Academy Queens Families Still Without a Middle School for Next Year, Three Years After Initial Request
New York, NY — As parents around New York City finalize their children’s applications for middle school to submit by the deadline tomorrow tonight, Success Academy parents in Queens are still left in limbo by Mayor de Blasio, without a school identified for their children to attend next year.
Last month, Success Academy parents rejected the mayor’s proposal of a small, aging Catholic school as inadequate and not comparable to Department of Education facilities. By standards that apply to all public school buildings, the space the DOE proposed as a permanent Success Academy middle school would have worked for only one year, as it accommodated at best 330 students. Over the next four years, Success Academy’s middle school enrollment will reach 1,000 students in Queens; the request for a second middle school, made in January 2017, was for 575-625 students. The 70-year-old building would have required a complete gut renovation to replace electrical and mechanicals, repair water damage, and restore all interiors and lighting — costing several millions of dollars.
Parents of the 2,200 Success students in Queens have been waiting three years for what the De Blasio administration promised would be a permanent site. Since July, parents have sent hundreds of emails, met with Queens elected officials, secured nearly 13,000 signatures on a petition, and rallied alongside thousands of supporters — all in an attempt to get the mayor to be accountable to their children.
“It seems the mayor has decided that just because I am a mother who decided to send her children to a charter school, I do not deserve to know where my child will go to school,” said Sandrian Campbell, parent of two Queens SA scholars. “My children are public school students and they have the same rights as district students.”
“‘Equity and excellence for all’ means all — all public school children, district and charter,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “These children deserve equitable space, and their parents deserve answers from Mayor de Blasio.”
By state law, the city must offer space that is “reasonable, appropriate and comparable and in the community school district to be served by the charter school and otherwise in reasonable proximity.”
According to DOE data, four underutilized buildings in southeast Queens currently have an average of 241 square feet per child. Moving 600 Success children into any one of these buildings would still guarantee every student — district and charter — well above the 100-square-foot standard, not the 66 square feet the DOE planned to force on Success students. Two other buildings could accommodate between 400 and 500 students. (See detailed analysis of available space in Queens school buildings here.)
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.