SUNY Postpones Vote on Fee Increase at Success Charter Network

April 24, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Moskowitz Blames Union Opposition

By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

NEW YORK CITY — Parents planned to rally outside a SUNY Charter School Institute meeting in Manhattan Tuesday to protest an increase in Success Academy charter network’s management fees — but the issue was postponed by SUNY.

“The fee change was deferred pending further consideration,” Jim Devor, president of Brooklyn Community Education District 15 (CEC-15), told the Brooklyn Eagle.

"We are disappointed that union opposition has once again made it difficult to do the right thing for children,” said Eva Moskowitz, head of the Success Academy network.

New York Communities for Change (NYCC) said in a statement that Success network had given parents little information about the 50 percent increase. The increase would raise the annual per-pupil management fees from $1,350 to $2,000, according to figures cited by the New York Daily News — but would not mean the network would receive more money from the state.

A 15 percent (of total state aid) management fee, which is what the Success network would levy if the increase is approved, is twice the average for a New York City charter management organization (CMO) and closer to the 17 percent average of for-profit educational management organizations (EMOs), Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters said in a letter to the SUNY board. New charters run by EMOs are now banned, Ms. Haimson added.

The Success network, which plans to expand from 11 to roughly 40 schools, asked SUNY on Tuesday to allow it to merge five of its Harlem school boards into a single corporate board in order to increase services, according to SUNY trustees’ meeting materials.

The Success network has attracted a hailstorm of protest in Brooklyn neighborhoods including Cobble Hill and Williamsburg as it prepares to move into buildings already occupied by traditional public schools.

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