Hochul shifts focus away from education equity to push for zombie charters 1

Hochul shifts focus away from education equity to push for zombie charters

Expansion of privately run charter schools comes at a historic moment for equity in NY public schools

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 27, 2023) — In response to Governor Hochul’s announcement that a conceptual agreement has been reached on the 2023-24 New York State enacted budget, the public education advocacy organization Alliance for Quality Education released the following statement: 

“Thirty years after the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit was filed and 15 years after the Foundation Aid formula was enacted, the New York State enacted budget will fully fund public schools, for the first time in its history. The completion of this historic investment brings public schools to the level of funding they have needed for decades, and will be particularly transformative for children in the predominantly Black, brown and low-income schools that have been shortchanged for so many years,” said Jasmine Gripper, Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education.

“It is unfortunate that, at this historic moment of opportunity for public education in our state, Governor Hochul was more concerned in doing the bidding of her billionaire donors than what is in the best interest of children.

“The Governor’s initial proposal, which in addition to reauthorizing “zombie” charters, was extreme and would have created chaos and destabilized all New York’s education system, including both public and privately run charter schools. With the decline of school age children, pushing to open more schools with not enough students to attend them would have set everyone up for failure.

“As it is, the reauthorization of “zombie” charters will cost New York City’s public school system tens of millions a year going forward. Had Governor Hochul gotten her way in this budget deal, it would have caused even greater chaos in all New York’s public schools. We owe great thanks to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who over these past weeks and months of negotiations have championed New York’s children, and fought hard to limit the most harmful impact of the Governor’s efforts to expand charter schools.

“This year’s fight over charters was never about what’s best for the people of New York, and it should never have been part of budget negotiations to begin with. New York’s children and families deserve better than being reduced to a political bargaining chip. 

“We applaud the Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the Assembly Speaker for pushing back against the Governor’s proposal and fighting on behalf of the children of New York State. We look forward to celebrating the CFE victory and continuing to progress toward equity for all New York’s students.”