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**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, NOVEMBER 29, 2017**

Contact:
Nicole Sizemore
(718) 612-1429
nicole.sizemore@successacademies.org

Success Academy Rejects DOE’s Partial “Solution” To Space Requests, Demands Permanent Space For All Six Schools

In A Letter To Mayor Bill de Blasio, Eva Moskowitz Urges DOE To Find Practical And Fair Solution For All Success Academy Scholars

NEW YORK, NYOn Wednesday morning, Success Academy Founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz was joined by dozens of parents on the steps of City Hall to reject the Department of Education’s partial and temporary “solution” to the charter network’s requests for public space. After the city proposed last week to provide space for only a fraction of the Success Academy scholars who need middle school seats next year, parents are demanding a real solution that provides all six middle schools with permanent space.

In a letter sent to Mayor de Blasio today, Success Academy Founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz rejected the DOE’s flawed math behind its deeply inadequate proposal.

“Today, on behalf of all our families, Success Academy rejects this proposal and asks the Department of Education to provide an alternative solution that provides permanent public school space for all six middle schools,” Moskowitz wrote.

For months, parents and school leaders across different elementary schools in Rosedale, Bensonhurst, Bergen Beach, Washington Heights, West Harlem and the Bronx have been urging the DOE to provide their children with adequate space for middle school next year. Now, after months of delays, missed deadlines, and hollow promises, the city’s unilateral announcement offering just two school buildings in East Flatbush and the Central Bronx is far from a resolution.

Both the New York Daily News and New York Post editorial boards have recognized the DOE’s proposal for what it really is: “Too few classrooms in all the wrong places.” At City Hall on Wednesday, Success Academy parents made clear they will not accept partial, stopgap measures that leave hundreds of kids without space to learn.

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“For months, we have fought for space for our kids. We’ve gone to public hearings, we’ve rallied here at City Hall, we’ve written thousands of letters, we’ve made thousands of phone calls….but despite all of that, the DOE offered us just two middle schools for next year,” said Success Academy Bergen Beach parent, Miriam Reyes. “This will leave hundreds of parents and kids out in the cold.”

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“Let me be clear: being Mayor for all children means giving ALL kids the space they need to go to the schools they love. It does NOT mean forcing my child out of a great school and into the district,” said Success Academy Rosedale Parent, Kimiko Leonard. “I know that the state law requires the Mayor to give Success Academy students space that is ‘adequate, comparable, and reasonable.’ But my daughter doesn’t have any space at all. Is that reasonable? Is that adequate?”

“What the city offered is not a solution. It’s a slap in the face. It means parents in my community and many others are getting left out in the cold, without a middle school,” said Jason Ellison, another parent from Success Academy Rosedale. “How many more times will I have to come back here just to ask that my daughter be treated fairly? How many times must parents like me beg the Mayor for equality?”

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Success Academy has repeatedly identified buildings, some that have up to 1,000 empty seats according to city data, that would be far more adequate, comparable, and reasonable for the network’s families. Unlike the two buildings proposed by the DOE, each of these buildings has enough empty seats to accommodate a middle school at full enrollment, and is located in a neighborhood that parents could reasonably commute to.

To read Eva Moskowitz’s full letter to the DOE regarding middle school space, click here or see below.

# # #

November 29, 2017

VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL

Mayor Bill de Blasio
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Mayor de Blasio,

Last week, the Department of Education announced that it would provide space for only some of the Success Academy scholars who will need middle school seats next year. Today, on behalf of all our families, Success Academy rejects this proposal and asks the Department of Education to provide an alternative solution that provides public school space for all six middle schools.

The DOE’s offer of temporary space for two middle schools is not “adequate, comparable, and reasonable,” as state law requires it to be. Instead, it leaves hundreds of students without school seats for next year.

In the letter announcing this offer, the city noted that the proposed buildings, in Brooklyn and the Bronx, have more than 1,000 seats between them. According to the city’s calculations, this means that “every rising Success Academy 5th grade student who would like to continue at an SA middle school next year can do so.” Unfortunately, the math and logic behind this assertion are deeply flawed.

First, the city’s proposal fails to take into account the fact that Success Academy’s middle school enrollment is rapidly growing because 5th graders become 6th graders and 6th graders become 7th graders, and so forth. Over the next four years, this figure will grow to more than 8,000 middle school students, and every one of these kids must have a seat in a cohesive 5-8 middle school.

Second, the city’s proposal burdens hundreds of Success Academy parents with the impossible task of an hours-long school-day commute. This is one of the reasons why we requested space for six middle schools, rather than just two — our families in Rosedale, West Harlem, Cobble Hill and Williamsburg can’t be expected to send their kids to school in East Flatbush and the Central Bronx.

The New York Daily News and New York Post Editorial boards have both recognized the inadequacy of this proposal, characterizing it as an offer of “too few classrooms in all the wrong places” that will create a “mess” recurring every year until Success Academy is granted sufficient and permanent facilities.

Success Academy has previously provided the Department of Education with a list of buildings better suited for our needs, and this list can be found again in Appendix A. Each of these buildings has enough empty seats to accommodate a middle school at full enrollment, and is located in a neighborhood that our parents could reasonably commute to.

We ask that the Department of Education return to the table to find a workable solution for Success Academy. Our families deserve the same consideration that district school families receive. Please help us resolve this space crisis.

Sincerely,

Eva Moskowitz
Founder and CEO, Success Academy Charter Schools

CC: Chancellor Carmen Fariña
First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris
Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose
Senior Education Policy Advisor Karin Goldmark

Appendix A: Ten Chronically Underutilized School Sites that Success Academy Provided to the DOE as Possible Sites for Middle Schools

Alternative sites to non-viable building offered by DOE for Bergen Beach/Bensonhurst Families

Sites for Cobble Hill/Central Brooklyn Families

    • K655, 345 Dean Street, Brooklyn (CSD 15)

      • 460+ empty seats

      • 0 .1 mi from D, N, R; 0.3 mi from 2, 3, 4, 5; 0.5 mi from G train

    • K113, 300 Adelphi Street, Brooklyn (CSD 13)

      • 650 empty seats

      • 0.2 mi from G; 0.3 mi from C; 0.6 mi from 2, 3, 4, 5, B, Q; 0.6 mi from D, N, R; 0.9 mi from A

    • K580, 105 Tech Place, Brooklyn (CSD 13)

      • 400+ empty seats

      • 0.2 mi from A, C, F; 0.2 mi from R;  0.3 mi from 2, 3; 0 .4 mi from B, Q, 4, 5; 0 .5 mi from G; 0.9 mi from D, N

Sites for Rosedale Families:  

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 46 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 15,500 students, primarily low-income children of color in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 77% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch, 95% are children of color, 16% are children with disabilities, and 8.5% are English language learners. Ranked in the top 1% in math and the top 1.5% in English on 2017 state proficiency tests, Success Academy schools received more than 20,000 applications for about 3,200 open seats this year.

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

On Twitter at:
@SuccessCharters
#InsideSuccess

  • 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.