When it comes to the right of Charter Schools to operate their own school business with autonomy and self-control, the victorious case of “Success Academy” charter network in New York City, provides clear and evident proof that pre-kindergarten programs can conduct their program free from pre-conditions set by a city contract. In fact, the case of Success Academy, which is one of the biggest charter school networks in New York City, sets a significant precedent as it was the state appellate court that ruled for this charter network to have the right to govern its pre-kindergarten curriculum free from city regulations.
In early June of 2017, a panel of judges from New York state’s Appellate Division ruled that Success Academy was operating under the law when it refused to sign a restrictive city contract on how to conduct its charter program for 4-year-old pre-kindergarteners. Apparently, the judges found Mayor Bill De Blasio’s universal pre-K initiative as too invasive and illegal while interfering with Success Academy and its right to self-governance.
The court also ruled that the city owes Success Academy a whopping $720,000 in pre-K tuition back reimbursement fees, which the city had refused to pay since Success Academy would not sign the pre-K initiative of the de Blasio administration. In fact, the CEO and founder of the Success charter network, Eva Moskowitz, had been battling the de Blasio administration for some time. She argued that the pre-K initiative of Mayor Bill De Blasio would provide the city improper control over its operations.
In fact, Moskowitz correctly pointed out that the de Blasio administration never seemed to embrace the notion that charter schools are to operate independently of the district school system, and demanded that the de Blasio administration comply with the law. Apparently, the panel of judges serving on the state appellate court agreed with Moskowitz. It is worth noting that even the New York State Education Commissioner MarryEllen Elia, had been asked for support from Moskowitz during the early battles. However, Elia wrongfully supported the de Blasio administration, and State law rightfully ruled for Charter Education rights instead.