Friday, December 3, 2021

Success Academy clashing with city over new high school site

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City Hall is once again leaving hundreds of Success Academy kids out in the cold, the network said Tuesday.

The city’s largest charter network asserts that Mayor de Blasio is stonewalling their bid to incorporate a new high school at the site of a Success Academy middle school in Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park.

Success officials contend that City Hall has delayed the posting of a site approval proposal that must be passed by the Panel for Educational Policy to proceed.

The network said their request doesn’t require any additional seats and would not impact the traditional public school co-located with the existing Success location.

“We know you care about children and their education, so please do what is right for our children as you would for your own,” wrote Janice Mckenzie, SA Ditmas Park MS parent, in one of roughly 3,000 emails sent to the mayor.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio
Success Academy claims New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is stonewalling their effort to incorporate a new high school in Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The DOE said Tuesday that the final deadline for the PEP to approve Success’s plan is next March and that they’ve proposed another standalone site for the new high school.

“This Friday is an arbitrary deadline and we’ve identified a near-by alternative location that could fully address Success Academy’s need without keeping students and families waiting,” said DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon.

But Success officials said the city’s site option is markedly inferior and that parents should not have to wait until next year to know if their preferred location has been secured.

Eva Moskowitz of Success Academy Charter Schools at a Harlem location in June
Success Academy said their effort would not impact the traditional public school co-located with the existing Success location.
Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images

Success and de Blasio most recently clashed over space for a new Success Academy school in Queens.

The charter has long accused the city of harboring an aversion towards the high-performing network and purposefully impeding expansion efforts.

“We did not give up on our Queens middle schoolers, and we’re not about to give up on a high school for our Brooklyn families,” said Eva Moskowitz, Success Academy founder and CEO. “It’s unimaginable that the mayor would oppose a great new high school in Brooklyn.”



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