Eva Moskowitz, the combative CEO of the Success Academy charter school chain (previously called Harlem Success Academy), anticipates that new Mayor Bill de Blasio may charge rent for her use of public space or may deny some of the co-locations offered in the waning days of the Bloomberg administration. Moskowitz enjoyed preferential treatment when Michael Bloomberg was mayor and had immediate access to Chancellor Joel Klein. Those days are over, as de Blasio has pledged to review all future co-locations and to consult with local communities.
Moskowitz issued a statement promising to take her battle for more schools and more funding to Albany, where she has friends in the Legislature and in Governor Cuomo. According to a report by Geoffrey Decker in Chalkbeat, charter advocates–some of whom are on the board of Eva’s chain–have contributed more than $800,000 to Cuomo. Eva will bring busloads of students to Albany with her to impress the Legislature, something that no public school would be permitted to do. In addition, a charter advocacy group called Families for Excellent Schools will mount a multi-million dollar TV campaign to block de Blasio’s efforts to rein in the charter movement.
Charters in New York City enroll 6% of the pupil population. Many have smaller proportions of students with disabilities and English language learners than public schools, and some charters are known for suspending or expelling students they don’t want, then not accepting new students to take their places.