New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks said Monday that the city will scrap proposals that would have co-located three Success Academy schools in public school buildings.
Banks said the Department of Education nixed the idea to place two new charter schools in Queens and one new charter school in the Bronx after receiving backlash from the community.
The city’s top school official said the decision was made after community members complained that the proposals “would create significant challenges for the new schools and the existing co-located schools.”
Banks’ statement comes a day before the Panel for Educational Policy was scheduled to vote on the two Queens schools, according to NY1.
One of the proposals would’ve placed a Success Academy elementary school at the Catherine and Count Basie Middle School 72 building, which has two middle and special education campuses in Rochdale Village.
The other Queens charter elementary school would’ve been placed at the Springfield Gardens Education Campus, which houses multiple high schools.
The failed proposal that would’ve placed a Success Academy elementary school at a Bronx school building was supposed to be discussed Wednesday, NY1 reported.
Co-locating of the trio of charter schools was fiercely opposed by the United Federation of Teachers.
Some parents and faculty also voiced opposition to the plan with the two sides arguing over whether the space is actually there to house more students.
“We can’t force additional students into a building where there’s no space and then condemn New York City schools for failing,” said Adriana Alicea, president of District 28’s President’s Council of one of the Queens proposals, according to Chalkbeat New York. “There’s no space for the children to succeed. There’s no space for them to grow.”
Success Academy did not immediately return an email and phone call Monday night.
But a spokesperson for the charter school system, Ann Powell, previously told Chalkbeat, “Our schools are tremendously popular in Queens.” Powell also said that 500 families in part of the Bronx need to “commute significant distances to attend other Success Academies.
Success Academy Founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz previously told NY1 concerns over space in the buildings were nothing more than scare tactics.
“Co-location is just such an important public policy,” Moskowitz reportedly said. “This is about of course Success, but it’s also about the policy. Do we really want a city where you leave 40% of the seats empty? They were expensive to build, those buildings.”
Charter schools are legally allowed to vacant space in Department of Education buildings and have done so for years.
Banks, in his Monday statement, vowed to work with Success Academies “to find suitable facilities for their new schools.”
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