City’s Delayed Release of New Pre-K Application for Charter Schools Causes Success Academy to Cancel Pre-K Classes — Again
admin – October 16, 2019
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, October 16, 2019**
Liz Baker, 646-902-4200
CITY’S DELAYED RELEASE OF NEW PRE-K APPLICATION FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS CAUSES SUCCESS ACADEMY TO CANCEL PRE-K CLASSES — AGAIN
Despite Winning a Legal Battle for the Right of NYC Charter Schools to Offer Pre-K Without Submitting to the City Contract, Success Academy Informs Families of News
New York, NY — Today, Eva Moskowitz informed Success Academy families that the network will not be able to offer pre-K classes for the 2020-21 school year. After having won a conclusive legal victory in November that allowed all city charter schools to operate pre-K independently, Success has been stymied by the de Blasio administration’s excessive delay in releasing its application for charters to receive pre-K funding. While the court’s decision is almost a year old, the city waited until this month to release the application, with a deadline of December and no timeline for approval.
Whether by design or dysfunction, the delay creates significant obstacles for rolling out a new pre-K program. Teachers must be hired, new curricula developed, and classrooms allotted. Without a dependable timeline for funding approval, Success could not include pre-K as an option on the 2020-21 Scholar Application, which launches today.
“Creating a high-quality pre-K program requires planning and hiring educators,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “It took the city almost a year to release the application — who knows how many months they will take to make a decision!”
In 2015, the first and only year Success was able to offer pre-K, the network received 3,000 applications for 72 pre-K seats. The city withheld $720,000 in per-pupil funding for the first year of operation because Success Academy refused to sign the contract, and the network was forced to close pre-K after one school year.
The November 2018 Court of Appeals ruling determined that the DOE does not get to share oversight authority with a charter school’s authorizer, and that $720,000 should be paid to Success Academy, with interest.
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.