AFTER SUCCESS ACADEMY’S ANNUAL LOTTERY, 14,000 CHILDREN ARE LEFT ON WAITLIST
NEW YORK, NY – More than 17,000 children were entered into yesterday’s admissions lottery for 3,017 available seats at Success Academy in 2017-18. Parents from every corner of New York City applied, driven by a severe shortage of high-quality schools and the network’s decade-long track record of achievement. This is the fourth consecutive year the Success wait list exceeds 10,000 kids.
The extraordinary wait list underscores the urgency with which parents across NYC are attempting to flee hundreds of failing schools. Across the Bronx, for example, not even 1 in 4 students is on grade level in reading or math. More than 5,600 children from the borough applied to Success Academy — 15 for every available seat. Overall, applications from kids zoned to the city’s very lowest-performing elementary schools increased by 30%.
Demand for a seat at one of Success Academy’s socioeconomically diverse schools was exceptionally high this year. More than 5,600 unique families applied for a seat at one of the network’s six schools that truly reflect the demographics of the city: SA Upper West, SA Bensonhurst, SA Williamsburg, SA Cobble Hill, SA Hell’s Kitchen and SA Union Square.
“Every year, we’re heartbroken that we can’t serve more families — parents who want to send their child to a great school, but have so few options,” said Success Academy founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz. “And we’re stunned that City Hall continues to let the pleas of waitlisted parents fall on deaf ears.”
Applications from District 2 — one of the top performing school districts in the city, but often overcrowded and lacking in diversity — also increased, by about 10% over last year, with more than 600 families applying to Success. The network is opening SA Hudson Yards in District 2 this year.
The network will open two new elementary schools in 2017-18, down from five last year, largely due to bureaucratic hurdles. The mayor has attempted to obstruct charter school growth by denying charter school students access to public space, even though there are currently 144,000 empty seats available in NYC public school buildings.
Parent demand was similarly strong last year, with an additional 3,000 applications submitted for its pre-k program, which was suspended for this year as the network and parents fight illegal red tape imposed by City Hall in court.
Additional highlights from the lottery:
The Network’s top five districts by application total include Districts 9, 10, and 11 in the Bronx and District 29 in southeast Queens with more than 1,000 children from each district submitting applications. This is up from two such districts last year.
After SA Bushwick’s successful first year, applications from the neighborhood (District 32) increased by 27%
615 students zoned to attend a Renewal school applied to Success
ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS
Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K through 12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 41 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 14,000 students, primarily low-income children of color in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 77% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch, 95% are children of color, 15% are children with disabilities, and 8.5% are English language learners. Ranked in the top 0.3% in math and the top 1.5% in English among all New York State schools on 2016 state proficiency tests, Success Academy schools received more than 20,000 applications for fewer than 3,400 open seats this year.