Once again, Mayor Bill de Blasio is messing with Success Academy families, this time by stonewalling the network’s bid to open a new Brooklyn high school — in a space Success is already using.
The request is a pretty basic one and one that’s been granted before: Let the network use the classrooms from its Ditmas Park Middle School, a previously approved co-location for more than 1,000 students, to open a new high school to serve its 15 Brooklyn schools: SA High School of the Liberal Arts-Brooklyn.
That’s it. No harm, no foul. The plan requires no added seats and won’t impact the traditional public school co-located in the building.
Yet City Hall has delayed approving its site proposal, which the Panel for Educational Policy must OK at its Oct. 29 meeting for the changeover to be done in time.
De Blasio’s Department of Education wants Success to use a different, standalone site for the new high school and says the final deadline for approval of that doesn’t come until March.
DOE spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon even called the Friday deadline “arbitrary.” Well, sort of: The whole approval process is ridiculously complex — full of arbitrary deadlines meant to make it harder for new charter space to open. And the charter foes who wrote those rules won’t hesitate to enforce them.
Success officials say the DOE’s proposed site is clearly subpar; the foot-dragging is all about what the DOE says it doesn’t want to do — keeping 360 eighth-graders and their families on edge about whether they can attend the high school of their choice next year.
It all reeks of one last passive-aggressive de Blasio middle finger to kids who just want an excellent education.
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