In a February 28th letter to parents and the MVP community, board chair Josephine Lume wrote that the diocese tried to prevent the school from enrolling new students by asking for the court case to be expedited.
Four Appellate Division judges denied the motion unanimously.
“Our lawyers inform us that given the number of cases before the court, this case may not be before the judges again for perhaps a year,” Lume said. “This is great news for all of us who care about MVP.”
The lawsuit stems from a contractual dispute between the diocese and Christ the King High School, which has rented space on its campus to MVP for three years. According to a 1976 agreement, Christ the King was not supposed to lease space to a secular school.
The diocese has since attempted to force out the successful middle school, MVP officials have claimed, leaving students in limbo.
In March 2017, New York Supreme Court ruled that Christ the King had violated its agreement by permitting the charter school on the premise. Christ the King appealed the ruling, and since then, the case has been stuck in court.
In her letter, Lume reminded parents that all current students are guaranteed a spot for the next academic year. MVP will accept applications for 6th grade, and the deadline for submitting applications is April 1.
As usual, preference for admissions is given to siblings of current students, children of MVP employees, and residents within the local school district.
If applications exceed available seats, the school will have a lottery on April 13. Those who are not selected will be placed on a waiting list, Lume said.
Though MVP’s charter is up for renewal with the SUNY Board of Trustees, the board chair said they have been “led to believe our renewal is not in doubt.”
“Your support and activism throughout this ordeal with the diocese have been invaluable,” she said, “whether attending rallies or making your voices heard in other ways.”
In a statement, the Brooklyn Diocese said they were hoping to persuade the Appellate Division to hear the appeal on an expedited scheduled, but to no avail. Now, the diocese said, the school’s future operation “remains uncertain.”
“As the diocese has stated before, it remains open and willing to resolve this dispute amicably,” read a statement. “We urge Christ the King to agree to the same terms as every other regional high school within the Diocese.”
Lume said Christ the King officials have also invited the diocese to sit down and find a way to achieve “our common goals,” rather than fight in court.
“The diocese so far has not been interested,” she said.