Middle Village charter school protests lawsuit that threatens to close it

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About 100 students, parents and administrators from Middle Village Preparatory Charter School chanted “Drop the lawsuit,” and “Keep our school open,” as they rallied Tuesday outside of the Queens County Court.

Christ the King, a Catholic high school that leases a space to the independent charter school, is in the midst of fighting a lawsuit from the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens. The lawsuit threatens to shut down Middle Village Prep unless CTK complies with the diocese.

At the hearing, both parties presented their arguments to the judge, who hoped the two could work this out themselves, but is expected to deliver a decision soon.

Middle Village Prep remains open due to a restraining order that prevents the school from being evicted until the final ruling. The school, which serves about 380 sixth- to eighth-graders and has a waiting list of 250 additional kids, has received support from Community Education Council 24 President Nick Comaianni and other community leaders.

For years now, CTK and the diocese have gone to court over alleged violations of agreements between the two entities. The diocese contends one of the violations is that CTK was not allowed to open the charter school in 2013 due to an agreement they signed in 1976.

At issue are rules that prevent charter schools from siphoning off students from neighboring parochial schools.

In an email to the TimesLedger, Carolyn Erstad, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Brooklyn, said it is willing to work with CTK and Middle Village Prep.

“The Diocese of Brooklyn wants MVP to remain open and the students to thrive,” she said. “The judge today encouraged CTK and the diocese to work out this dispute. We want to do that and are extending an invitation to the CTK board members to sit down and talk.”

The Middle Village Prep board of trustees did not reply to a request for comment in time for publication.

Updated 11:05 am, June 16, 2017
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Reader feedback

Hugh Mungus from Tittle Village says:
This lame protest would have been much more effective had these middle aged moms done it topless.
June 16, 4:51 pm
Dana Tili from Middle Village says:
That is a disgusting comment made by "Hugh Mungus." (Yeah, right.) These are parents who are concerned about their children's school. To talk about topless women is vile here. Please remove this lowlife comment from the article about my child's school.
June 18, 3 pm
Dana Titty from Snarkyville says:
I found it witty. You must be overweight.
June 19, 4:09 pm
Tony from Middle Village says:
The CK Board is always corrupt and defiant. They run a sub-standard Catholic HS in the area that most people in the area do not attend and travel to other Catholic High Schools. No surprise Maltise, who thinks he owns the school will not follow the same rules as all other Catholic Schools have to follow. The CK Board is responsible to the current situation with MVP, not the diocese.
June 19, 8:09 pm
Sitt Tucker from Viddle Millage says:
Because you found it witty, she must be overweight? Ridiculous.

I believe it more a matter of her being chairwoman of the itty bitty titty committee.
June 19, 8:12 pm
Ognibene's Ghost from The Great Beyond says:
She's actually a hard core lefty and hypocrite. She is a member of the UFT yet sends her child to a Charter. Do as I say, not as I do, right Dana?
June 20, 5:21 pm
July Kearney from Middle Village says:
I don't believe in charter schools. Why should directors pocket the money when our public schools are in disrepair and could use the money to be fixing them up.

Just because my daughter isn't Picked in a lottery should not mean she has to go to a lesser school because charter schools get more money for updates And that's not fair to our taxpayers.

Close the charter school
July 12, 1:20 pm
Joan Lee from Elmhurst says:
I agree. This is a Catholic Scool. Went to the open house. School and bathrooms were horrible. SFP IT IS

These kids have to pay a lot of money and lose their gym and gynasium for kids who pay nothing.

Not fair!
July 12, 1:54 pm
John Kuman from Ridgewood says:
CK has success through the years after been sold for $1 by the Brooklyn Diocese. I don´t understand why the Catholic church goes against the most basic Catholic values, preventing many poor or needy kids of MVP to success after given this great opportunity provided with OUR public money while allowing the rich to access to the best-paid education to become richer. Is the Brooklyn Diocese running education as a business in order to earn more money? Is this all about money? Do they want CK back now that it succeeded? We cannot go back to sell Papal Bull anymore. Catholic churches and Cathedral were built in slavery conditions when a paper contract was not available and abuse of power was the norm at that time. Sadly there was not a judge at that time to condemn the Catholic church representatives from all the crimes against humanity committed in its name. Now is in their hands to really help the youth to succeed, but it looks like this is not the main interest in its discussion.
Aug. 26, 9:53 am

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