- New York 04/26/2014 (AP)
New York City officials said Saturday they have found space in closed Catholic schools for three charter schools that became homeless after Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected their space-sharing agreements.
The three Success Academy charter schools will move into buildings that formerly housed two Roman Catholic schools in Manhattan and one in Queens, city officials said. The city will renovate the buildings and get them ready for students next fall.
"It doesn't matter whether a child attends a district school, a charter school, or a parochial school; these are all our kids," First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris said. "We pledged to parents we would have a safe, high-quality environment for these students, and this outcome delivers on that promise."
The Success Academy schools had been promised space in public schools during the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but de Blasio, who took office in January, announced in February that he was reversing some of the so-called co-locations approved under Bloomberg last fall.
Those included agreements to house the three Success Academy schools in traditional public school buildings.
Success Academy backers had sued over the decision.
City officials said the agreement announced Saturday resolves all legal actions.
As a mayoral candidate last year, de Blasio charged that Success Academy schools had received special treatment under Bloomberg and said they should pay rent.
But under the new agreement, the city will pay rent to the New York Archdiocese and the Brooklyn Diocese for the closed Catholic schools.
Details of the leases have not been finalized, mayoral spokesman Wiley Norvell said.
Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz said she was grateful to the mayor for his support. "I'm heartened we've been able to put politics behind us and establish a positive working relationship," she said in a statement.