This year, New York City’s public schools are slated to receive a $349 million increase in Foundation Aid. But the majority of New York City’s school aid increase won’t go to the public schools that serve a majority of students— it actually will go to privately run charter schools.
How can this be? State law that mandates that local school districts pay tuition to charter schools in that district — payments that in recent years have been two or three times larger than what the district spends on the students attending public schools. As a result, privately run charter schools get larger increases per student than public schools, even though they educate only a fraction of students.
Let’s break down those numbers: In New York City, public schools enroll 1,033,669 students, while charter schools enroll 145,000 students. And although New York City is getting a $349 million increase in Foundation Aid, the city is obligated to increase aid to charter schools by over $200 million. That means that 57% of the total increase in state operating aid for public schools is going to just 14% of students.
This imbalance in state aid increases between public and charter schools is nothing new. From 2019-2021, students at New York City’s public schools have received an average increase in state aid of $471 per student. But at New York City’s charter schools, students have received an average increase of $2,325 per student — nearly five times as much per pupil as public schools.
Send your legislator an email now to your representatives in Albany now! Tell the State Legislature that they must take action in the 2022-23 budget to ensure that the majority of school aid increases go to the system serving the majority of students, our traditional public schools.