The city’s largest charter school network will be allowed to access Department of Education buildings and make repairs ahead of the start of classes, a judge ruled Monday — as a lawsuit from the powerful teachers’ union seeking to expel it from the spaces continues.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lyle Frank modified a June 30 temporary restraining order that prevented Success Academy from performing construction work at PS Q225, a middle school in Queens, and the K495 high school complex in Brooklyn, according to his ruling.
The United Federation of Teachers had moved to prevent Success from co-locating in the public school buildings in Kew Gardens and Sheepshead Bay, citing New York’s new class-size law.
The union argues that the law — which caps middle school classes at 23 students and at 25 students for high school — will require public schools to have more space in DOE buildings, meaning the charters would not fit.
A decision in the suit is pending.
However, noting that classes at Success are still scheduled to start Aug. 14, Frank allowed the charter network to get into the buildings to install internet, add electrical capacity for AC and smartboards and patch and repair walls, floors, doors or light fixtures that are unsafe.
“Such improvements are anticipated to benefit the aforementioned school buildings,” Frank noted in his Monday ruling, adding the DOE would ensure that the work would not “interfere with” its school activities.
“It is in the best interest of students for these preparations, which benefit the school buildings regardless of the lawsuit’s outcome, to proceed,” a spokesman from the city’s Law Department said.
Dina Kolker, a lawyer who represents the UFT, said the union remained “optimistic” that the judge will ultimately rule in its favor and grant a preliminary injunction.
A rep for Success had no comment on Monday’s ruling.
The UFT’s lawsuit comes after years of efforts to stymie the charter network founded by former Democratic Upper East Side City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz in 2006, which now boasts 53 schools in every borough except Staten Island.
None of the more than a dozen lawsuits the union and its allies have filed against Success has succeeded.
Albany’s recent expansion of charter schools — which are privately run but publicly funded — had also been lobbied against and muted by the UFT, which views charters as a threat to its members and argues they take away resources from public school systems.
A Post series earlier this year highlighted how students of color who attend charter schools significantly outperformed their public school-attending counterparts.