New York City’s Chartered schools, led by Success Academy, emerged victorious in the long-lived legal dispute with the City when the State Supreme Court judge panel unanimously ruled the case in their favor, having declared that it is against the law for the city to regulate pre-K programs offered by charter schools.
The Thursday ruling marked the first legal battle won by the Charters and marked the end of a dispute, whose bone of contention started brewing during the fall of 2015. During that while, Success Academy had hardly introduced the Pre-K programs in its five schools, though the disputed issue sparked when the Academy declined to sign a city contract required by the universal prekindergarten program oversight.
While the city’s perspective on the issue was based on the policies regulating prekindergarten curricular among chartered schools, Success Academy stood firm with its claim that the continuous compulsion by the city to sign the contract intersected with state laws. Success came clear that the mandate to oversee the programs of a chartered educational institution was vested on its respective authorizer.
The discontentment of Success Academy was elicited by the remarks of the state’s education commissioner, Maryellen Elia, whose comments caused further frustrations for the academy. Having being denied their plea for prekindergarten program funding- $720,000- Success decided to appeal the ruling by the commissioner in the State Supreme Court.
Nonetheless, the judges termed the commissioner’s decision as a misinterpretation of the state law. On behalf of the panel, Justice William McCarthy said, “It was not the legislature’s wish that a school district’s authority to conduct inspections does not mandate it to regulate pre-K programs.”
From most parents’ perspectives, the ruling comes as good news, because the implications are that Success Academy is aloof of the bureaucracy surrounding the department of education.
Speaking on the same subject, a Success Academy parent said that the court decision presents learners with an opportunity to receive education from highly qualified educators, who nurture an environment focused on building good character and enable kids to discover their talents.