The much anticipated Department of Education Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) vote last night to co-locate a Success Academy Charter at I.S. 240 Andries Hudde Middle School in Midwood was tabled to get more feedback.
“After engaging stakeholders around these proposals the panel decided to postpone the vote to allow for additional feedback and to ensure that every student in the building – district or charter – got the great education they deserved,” DOE Spokesperson Harry Hartfield said following the non-vote at the Prospect Heights Campus.
We remain committed to siting the school and will work with the panel, schools and families to ensure we address their concerns,” he added.
The proposal calls for Success Academy-Midwood to open at Hudde in the Fall 2016, serving about 130-180 students in kindergarten and first grade, and will add one grade level each year until it serves approximately 375-495 students in kindergarten through fourth grade in the 2019-2020 school year.
According to the The DOE evaluation the Hudde building has the capacity to serve 1,526 students. Currently, the building is serving about 873 students, yielding a building utilization rate of approximately 57%. If the proposal is approved, the building will be ultimately house between 1,155-1,305 students for a 76%-86% utilization rate.
Parents in favor of the co-location largely outnumbered parents against the co-location at the meeting, but City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who represents the district where Hudde is located on Nostrand Avenue reiterated his past views against the co-location.
“I am not opposed to charter schools as of right, but when they are unwelcome by the institution they hope to reside in, I will take a stand against them. Tonight, I will once again take a stand against the forced co-location of a proposed charter school in Andries Hudde Junior High School,” he said.
But Success Academy Founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz said the no vote was disappointing.
“Our families were shocked and dismayed that, for the second time in four months, the panel was not able to evaluate a straightforward proposal,” said Moskowitz. “With 150 parents packed into the school auditorium, and twice as many speakers in support of the proposal than against it, the decision to postpone is highly irregular.”