In an almost 180-degree reversal on its stance on charter schools, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration said on Wednesday that it would find space in public school buildings for four charter schools that want to open or expand next year, the New York Times reports.
The four schools the city has agreed to find space for include: Eva Moskowitz's two schools, Success Academy Bronx 3, which is adding third grade next year, and Success Academy Bed-Stuy 1, which is adding fifth grade; Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School, which is adding high school grades; and Bronx Charter School for Better Learning II, a brand-new school.
It was only six months ago, back in March 2104 when de Blasio was caught in the crosshairs of a debate over whether charter school co-locations helped or hurt New York City public school students.
The mayor initially pushed back against charter school expansions, after making the issue a cornerstone of his campaign platform during his run for mayor in 2013. But with the threat of three lawsuits by charter school agencies and advocates, the governor and legislative leaders ultimately inserted in the budget a requirement that the city provide space to charters within five months or else contribute to their cost of renting private space.
That day is here.
"We hope that this great step on the administration's part will be the first of several, in order to make sure that this law works for everyone," said James Merriman, the chief executive of the New York City Charter School Center.