The Diocese of Brooklyn supports the parents and students of Middle Village Preparatory Charter School (MVP). The diocese wants the school to remain open and its students to continue to thrive. We hope to resolve the ongoing dispute that threatens the school’s future.
We would like parents, students and the public at large to understand the nature of this dispute.
In 1976, the Diocese of Brooklyn entrusted 6 Catholic High Schools to independent boards. Each property was endowed in exchange for 1 dollar and with the promise that it would always serve to house a Catholic High School. If the property stopped serving that purpose, it would be reverted or returned to the diocese. The boards were also required to get consent from the diocese if they wished to use the buildings for any additional enterprises like, for example, the operation of a charter school.
The spirit of this agreement is still honored today by all of the boards entrusted with high schools except for the board of Christ the King (CTK). Its board has refused to reaffirm the reverter agreement and continues to use the property for enterprises without diocesan consent.
The Diocese of Brooklyn has tried for years to work with officials from CTK but to no avail. In 2011, we put CTK on notice that we objected to the establishment of a charter school on the premises. Knowing that the fate of the property was in question, the president of CTK, Michael Michel, founded MVP. Mr. Michel allowed parents to enroll their students and settle into MVP knowing there was no consent from the diocese and the school was being legally challenged.
If Mr. Michel truly believes in education and cares about his students, he will honor a promise made to the Church decades ago. We ask Mr. Michel and the Board of CTK to do the right thing. We want Christ the King High School and Middle Village Prep to stay open and the students to thrive. But we also have an obligation to protect this property—intended for Catholic Education—which was built from the commitment, dedication, and donations of the faithful of the Diocese of Brooklyn.