Christ the King High School reaches settlement with church to keep charter school open

MVP doors
File photo/QNS

Christ the King High School (CTK) has reached a settlement with the Diocese of Brooklyn over a lawsuit aimed at stopping the Catholic school from operating a charter school on its campus. 

The agreement will allow Middle Village Preparatory Charter School (MVP) and Christ the King Community Day Care to continue to operate on the CTK campus, with the assurance that the majority of the property will be used as a Roman Catholic high school and that the diocese will receive one member on the CTK board of trustees.

“With this agreement, the parties look forward to their continued relationship with a renewed commitment to keeping alive the Catholic Church’s mission and fostering the spiritual and educational growth of students and their families in our community,” a school spokesperson wrote in a statement.

The pact marks the end of a three-year legal battle that stemmed from the well-regarded Catholic private school’s independence from the diocese.

The diocese took legal action in March 2017 to compel the CTK board of trustees to disband MVP, which had been operating on the high school’s campus since 2013 on the grounds that it was not part of the Catholic high school.

The original lawsuit claimed that the charter school violated the terms of an agreement the two parties signed in 1976. While that agreement allowed CTK to form a board of trustees and manage the school independently of the diocese, it also reportedly involved a condition that CTK could not use the campus for any purpose outside the Catholic school.

In March of 2017 and again in September of 2017, a Supreme Court Justice ruled in favor of the diocese, but the charter school was allowed to  remain open during the proceedings. In 2018, the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division voted to overturn the previous ruling that would have forced MVP to cease operating on the campus.

That legal win put the lawsuit in gave the CTK leadership hope that the diocese might drop the lawsuit. With the settlement, CTK got its wish.

“I was pleased to hear of the positive news for the students, parents, and staff at Christ the King Community Day Care, Middle Village Preparatory Charter School and Christ the King High School. Our residents no longer have to worry if their school would be evicted from its location on the Christ the King campus, and can focus on learning and the best interests of the children,” said state Senator Joe Addabbo.