That was the message Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz sent longtime foe Mayor Bill de Blasio in a letter Wednesday and a press conference outside City Hall, where she said the city’s offer of building space for her schools fell woefully short.
Moskowitz is seeking space for six middle schools — four new ones, and two that are expanding — located near the network’s elementary schools in parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx. Last week, the city offered just two buildings: one in East Flatbush, Brooklyn and another in the central Bronx. Officials said that will provide enough space for Success’ 734 rising fifth-graders next year, but that they are working to find additional buildings closer to where students live.
However, Moskowitz blasted the offer, saying it would force some families to travel far beyond their neighborhoods and won’t meet the needs of the new middle schools as they grow to full capacity.
“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 in the letter.
Wednesday’s rejection is the latest in a back-and-forth between Success and the de Blasio administration. The charter network claims that the city is refusing to provide available building space, despite a state law requiring the city to offer charters space or cover their rental costs. The city argues that finding appropriate school space is a complicated process that requires a thorough analysis of the building and the community’s response.
Moskowitz has been particularly aggressive in pushing for space at these six schools. She has personally emailed reporters, held conference calls, and launched an ad campaign blaming de Blasio for “discriminating” against charter school students.
For their part, city officials said their solution will cover the network’s needs.
“As we have made clear, every rising Success Academy middle school student who wants to continue at a Success Academy middle school in the same borough next year can do so,” education department spokesman Michael Aciman said in a statement.
You can Moskowitz’s letter to the mayor here.