A politically connected charter school wants to move into Williamsburg — but neighborhood school leaders won’t play nice.
Former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz wants to put one of her Success Charter Network schools inside the MS 50 building on S. Third Street at the start of the next school year — and she has the city’s backing.
“[Williamsburg] has some good schools, but they’re quickly filling up, and we’ve repeatedly heard from parents that they’re worried that their kids will be forced into an underperforming school,” said Moskowitz. “This will give parents another great public school option.”
The new school will start with kindergarten and first grade classes — totaling about 200 children — and share space with the public middle school. Eventually, it would become a full kindergarten-through-fifth-grade school.
Success Charter Network schools are among the highest-performing programs in the state, but parents — and the teachers union — often fight city attempts to site charter schools inside public school buildings, citing space constraints.
“[Moskowitz] attempts to attract the highest-performing families [causing] other public schools to have a brain drain,” said Williamsburg activist David Dobosz. “It weakens the public schools.”
But some parents are excited to have more choices.
“[Williamsburg] growing so fast for families but there aren’t as many good educational option,” said parent Alexandra Tremane. “I’m really hoping my daughter gets into a charter school next year.”
The Williamsburg school would be Moskowitz’s third school in Brooklyn by next year — she opened one in Bedford-Stuyvesant this fall and plans to open another in Cobble Hill next fall, despite a fight with parents in the existing public school building.
Anticipating some controversy, Success Charter Network co-founder Jenny Sedlis said, “We want to be good neighbors and work collaboratively with [MS 50] so it can retain what’s great about its program.”Reach reporter Aaron Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2547.
©2011 Community News Group