New York City’s Department of Education said on Thursday that it would not find space for five new middle schools proposed by the Success Academy charter school network in time for the locations to be approved by a city panel in November.
The delay sets up yet another clash between the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Eva S. Moskowitz, the founder of Success Academy, the city’s largest charter network, and one of the mayor’s sharpest critics.
For weeks, Ms. Moskowitz has said it was critical that the city make space proposals by Friday for her new middle schools, which she plans to open in 2018, so that the proposals could be approved by the Panel for Educational Policy at its Nov. 28 meeting. She has argued that there is more than enough space available in school buildings in the districts where she is proposing to open her schools.
Charter schools are publicly funded but privately operated, and many occupy space in public school buildings. Success Academy, which now has 46 schools, has traditionally sought space in public school buildings. The administration of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was generally receptive to such requests. But under Mr. de Blasio, who is not a fan of charter schools, Success Academy and other charters have faced difficulty and delays in getting space.
At a rally with parents on the steps of City Hall on Thursday, Ms. Moskowitz urged the city to make space available for the new schools, and suggested that Success Academy families would go on a hunger strike if necessary. Success Academy’s students, most of whom are black or Hispanic, performed better on this year’s state reading and math tests than did students in any other district in the state.
On Thursday afternoon, shortly after the rally, a spokeswoman for the Education Department said that the department would not meet the Friday deadline, but that it would “continue to assess space requests within a timeline that makes sense for all impacted students and families.”