Statement from Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre

New York State Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Wheatley Heights) has released the following statement pertaining to SUNY Charter Institute’s decision to proceed with issuance of charter to ‘The Academy Charter School’ in Wyandanch despite repeated, serious concerns from local community stakeholders:

“I am deeply disappointed by the State University of New York (SUNY) Charter Schools Committee’s shameful decision to move forward with the issuance of The Academy Charter School’s proposal for a charter school here in Wyandanch. Following letters and statements of opposition and concern from myself, New York State Senator John Brooks, community leaders and other stakeholders, the New York State Board of Regents rightfully encouraged SUNY Trustees to re-examine and re-consider this application in light of these comments which outlined myriad issues associated with the economic impact to the local school district, the social costs to Wyandanch students, the overly-broad vagueness by which the applicant attempted to address critical components of its application and the ultimate diversion of critical public funds away from one of the most underserved school districts in the State of New York.

“I also find it extremely concerning that the applicant – in its initial virtual interview with members of the SUNY Charter Board of Trustees – grossly misrepresented the amount of support their project had from local community and political leaders. As I stated in my August 18, 2021, letter (LINK TO PDF) to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute: I categorically oppose any attempt to establish a charter school here in Wyandanch or in any of its surrounding communities.

“While the SUNY Charter Board of Trustees may choose to conveniently ignore the very real concerns outlined by community stakeholders and the Board of Regents, this conduct will not deter any efforts from members of the local community and myself from continuing to speak out about the detrimental impact a charter school will have here in Wyandanch, along with my broader concern that the SUNY Charter Institute serves as a unilateral, rubber-stamp for virtually any charter applicant who seeks to divert education funding away from our public schools. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the State Legislature to help reform this troubling process once and for all.”