Success Academy parents to sue over co-locations

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Success Academy parents will file a federal lawsuit and formal complaints with the state against the city Department of Education on Monday, regarding the three co-location reversals recently announced by the de Blasio administration, sources tell Capital.

Parents from Success Academy Harlem 4 will file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the D.O.E. after the department reversed a co-location that would have moved middle school grades of a Success school in Harlem into a nearby district school that currently houses special-needs students.

Success parents will also file two complaints with state education commissioner John King regarding all three co-locations.

In addition to the Success Harlem 4 reversal, two new Success schools, Success Academy City Hall and Success Academy Jamaica, will not open as a result of the co-location reversals. Success City Hall was slated to open in Murry Bergtraum High School in Lower Manhattan, and Success Jamaica would have opened in August Martin High School.

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The co-locations, initially approved last fall under the Bloomberg administration, were reviewed, along with 45 other co-locations, by the de Blasio administration. Of the 45, nine co-locations were reversed. 

One of the new criteria created under schools chancellor Carmen Fariña concerning co-locations stipulates that the D.O.E. will not approve any that could compromise space for special needs-students.

This weekend, Public Advocate Letitia James announced that she will proceed with her lawsuit to reverse dozens of Bloomberg-era co-locations, while Mayor Bill de Blasio stood by his administration's decision to implement most of them. 

Success parents and Eva Moskowitz will formally announce the suits at a press conference at Success Harlem 4 on Monday morning.

Devon Puglia, a spokesman for the D.O.E., told Capital in a statement: "The administration is already taking steps to resolve concerns we have received by some parents. In our decisions, we set consistent, objective, commonsense standards—most importantly protecting students with disabilities. We remain deeply committed to the rights of all students, and ensuring every child has access to a great education."