Success Academy Charters, DOE Battle Over Pre-K Funding
The ongoing pitched battles between the Success Academy (SA) Charter Schools network and the de Blasio Administration took a turn towards an all-out public relations war with the city’s 1.1 million public school students held hostage in the middle.
That after SA announced today they are filing a lawsuit to fight the City’s decision to withhold funding for their children’s pre-k classes in three of their schools including two in Brooklyn – Success Academy Williamsburg, and Success Academy Cobble Hill.
The lawsuit argues that under New York State law, charter schools are monitored and reviewed by their authorizers, not the Department of Education. It further argues that in violation of this law, the DOE demands that Success Academy and other charter schools with pre-k grades sign a contract or their funding is withheld.
“The mayor just doesn’t get the charter school concept. It’s about doing things differently, about fresh approaches to helping kids learn and grow, not foisting on schools a 241-page contract that tries to dictate how our pre-k is run the way the UFT contract dictates how the district schools are run,” said Success Academy founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz.
Other charter schools, including the Achievement First and Public Prep networks, have sent affidavits in support of the lawsuit.
“Universal pre-k was Mayor de Blasio’s signature program, but this contract is just another example of the way in which the city (the mayor) throws obstacles at charters,” said Jacob Mnookin, executive director of Coney Island Preparatory Public Charter School.