April 26, 2011
Lawyers for a charter school network are asking the State Supreme Court to dimiss a co-location lawsuit filed by parents on the Upper West Side.
The parents’ lawsuit seeks to block Success Academy network from opening a charter school in the Brandeis Educational Campus, which is currently home to five public high schools. It accuses the city’s Department of Education of using inaccurate enrollment numbers to make the case that the building has enough space for a sixth school. Responding to the lawsuit today, lawyers for the charter school said that the suit should be dismissed. City attorneys said they plan to file a similar response.
“We will be filing the papers with the court shortly and we oppose the relief sought by the plaintiffs,” said city attorney Thomas Crane.
In their response to the parents’ suit, Success Academy lawyers said that the parents’ arguments “nitpick to an absurd degree” and “engage in unseemly fearmongering.” They said that what’s driving the Upper West Side parents’ lawsuit is anger that despite massive opposition, the city’s school board voted to give the charter school space in Brandeis.
Community Education Council President for District 3, Noah Gotbaum, one of the parents involved in the suit, said that the Brandeis Campus does not have enough room for the Success Academy school. Several of the high schools in the building have hundreds more applicants than they can accept, he said.
“The city is basically shutting the door on these growing high schools,” he said.