The New York State Governor, Kathy Hochul is pushing for a massive expansion of charter schools in NYC right now through the state budget process. Her proposal would allow for an additional 100 charter schools to open in NYC.
NYC cannot afford more charter schools. According to the NYC Mayor, this expansion of charter schools could cost the NYC Department of Education about $1 billion. Currently NYC already spends over $3 billion in rising costs for charter schools. In the 2022-23 school year, NYC received a $348 million increase in state aid, but NYC was required to increase spending on charters by $200 million. Meaning, about 57% of the increase in state aid for NYC went towards charter schools, which educate just 14% of the students.
The fact is: We don’t need new charters — there are enough schools, public and charter, to go around. Enrollment is down in both New York City’s public and charter schools.
Keeping the current charter cap means that existing charters will remain open, and will not be affected at all. It also means that public schools will not lose a significant amount of funding to charters.
We need to shift our focus from adding more charters, to how we can improve the public school system for all children, sharing the best ideas from successful public and charter schools. The goal — for all of us — should be to preserve our public education system that is available to all, publicly funded, publicly run, and accountable to ensure all children have access to high quality schools in their neighborhoods.