De Blasio slapped with suit over charter schools
By Carl Campanile
March 9, 2014 | 5:00pm
The Success Academy charter school network is suing Mayor de Blasio on Monday to overturn his decision to stop the siting of three of its schools.
A federal civil rights lawsuit will be filed against de Blasio for cancelling the co-location of Success Academy IV Central Harlem middle school with a neighboring public school, a source said.
Two legal complaints also will be filed with state Education Commissioner John King to try to reverse City Hall’s decision to prevent two new Success Academy charter elementary schools from opening at the Murry Bergtraum HS facility in downtown Manhattan and the August Martin HS complex in southeast Queens.
All three co-locations had been previously approved last year by the Bloomberg administration.
Following a firestorm of criticism, the mayor and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña promised to find alternative space in the fall for the 194 Success Academy Harlem middle students who would be displaced by de Blasio’s decision to revoke the co-location at the PS 149/Sojourner Truth facility. The charter school is temporarily sharing space at another Harlem school building, but must vacate the premises in June.
Fariña apologized on Friday for previously saying the homeless charter school students were “on their own.”
But de Blasio is getting hit from both sides.
Public Advocate Letitia James and opponents of charter schools are moving ahead with a lawsuit to stop more from opening in city-run buildings. They’re even considering asking a judge to stop charter school admission lotteries from being held this spring, pending a ruling in the case.
De Blasio actually signed off on 36 of the 45 school space-sharing arrangements approved by Bloomberg — including 14 of 17 charter school co-locations.