NYC finds space for 3 charter schools in closed schools

Art McFarland reports on three branches of Success Academy charter school being relocated to three Catholic schools. (WABC)
April 29, 2014 7:19:43 AM PDT
There is a new home for three charter schools in New York City that were recently denied space in public schools.

Mayor de Blasio's office helped come up with a compromise over the weekend.

The century old Mother Cabrini High School building is the most prominent of three Catholic school locations that will soon house three branches of the Success Academy charter school network.

"I'm really sad that Mother Cabrini is closing, but if somebody else wants to come along and lease the premises and the building for something else, that's fine. I don't have any problem with charter schools at all," said Washington Heights resident Kathleen Crisci.

The de Blasio administration says that the agreements follow through on its promise to provide the charter schools with safe environments. It also follows an order by Governor Cuomo and state legislators to accommodate the charter schools.

A massive rally in support of charter schools was a turning point in the political clash between Mayor de Blasio and charter school executive Eva Moskowitz.

In a statement Monday, Ms. Moskowitz said, in part, "We are deeply grateful to the Mayor for his support, which will enable us to serve these students. I'm heartened we've been able to put politics behind us and establish a positive working relationship."

"If you are going to have charter schools, put them in a location where they're not competing with resources from public schools," said Fordham University professor Mark Naison.

And in Washington Heights, some parents feel their kids, at traditional public schools, are being ignored.

"It would have been nice to take this space, if our Department of Education has some money to rent space and renovate, and use it for children in District 6 that have been asking for so many years already to have some space," said Washington Heights parent Laurie Uysal.

After renovations, the new charter school sites are due to open in September.