NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City’s leading charter school operator is renewing a battle with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Success Academy is taking aim at the mayor’s universal pre-k program.
Nana Peregrino-Brimah was told her 3-year-old daughter can’t attend pre-k at Success Academy next year because the school is terminating participation in the city’s program.
“Mayor de Blasio, why would you want to pull down a working system?” she said.
Parents and the charter school claim the mayor’s Education Department is trying to micromanage the charters’ pre-k programs by interfering with their educational philosophy and forcing them to sign a contract before accepting pre-k money.
Success Academy asked the city for nearly $750,000 to expand pre-k from three schools to five next year, serving about 100 children.
Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz has clashed with the mayor repeatedly over charters. She said cancelling pre-k was a tough, but necessary move.
“What’s tragic is that children are losing out because the education bureaucracy is extending itself,” Moskowitz said.
De Blasio said Success Academy is the one hurting kids by taking a stand at odds with every other independent pre-k operator.
“They asked to not sign a contract that every other charter organization signed, every religious school across multiple faiths signed. They’re the only entity that had a problem with that contract,” de Blasio said, adding that Success Academy needs to “figure it out when to give it a rest.”
Moskowitz is a former City Council member who has been touted as a possible de Blasio challenger. She said Thursday she “categorically” ruled out a run for mayor next year.