The Charter Center is committed to lifting the arbitrary cap on the number of charter schools that can open in New York City. We are working toward the day when every child in New York can attend the public school of their choice.

Families Want the Charter Option

Charter school enrollment continues to climb, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: charter schools saw a 7% increase in overall enrollment during the 2020-21 school year. In the immediate, there are 11 new and existing charter leaders that have been on hold to open new community- based charter schools in NYC. These schools conducted extensive community outreach to determine interest and need – families are waiting.


Under Governor Cuomo’s 20-21 Executive Budget proposal, 20 previously closed charters would be revived and made available for NYC

status of the charter cap

There is a statutory limit on the number of charter schools that can open in New York State (NY) – the cap currently stands at 460 with a smaller sub-cap for New York City (NYC). After more than 20 years of charter schooling in NY, there are currently 0 charters available to be issued in New York City and 94 charters left to be issued outside of the City.

Under the current cap, NY’s two authorizers, the New York State Board of Regents (Regents) and the SUNY Board of Trustees (SUNY Trustees), may issue charters so long as the total number does not exceed the sub-cap established for NYC or the statewide cap. NYC advocates are calling upon the State’s legislature to eliminate NYC’s sub-cap and allow NYC charter applicants to access the 94 charters remaining for the State. Remove the cap’s geographic barriers, so NYC’s children can continue to benefit from high quality public charter schools!

Governor Cuomo’s 2021-22 Executive Budget proposal calls for the reissuance of surrendered, revoked, or terminated charters in perpetuity. This bit of housekeeping makes sense, providing incentive for low performing charters to be closed and replaced by much-needed new charter schools. The passage of this proposal would make 20 charter schools available to be issued in NYC.

*The statewide charter school cap of 460 has not changed, but it has effectively been increased by 22 as the new law has revived a subset of charters previously revoked (and which previously could not be used again).


Charters remain for NY State but are not available for NYC


Existing and new charter leaders have been on hold to open new community- based charter schools in NYC

Charter schools have been serving NYC students for more than 20 years. The cap on NYC charters must be lifted so these schools can continue to open and serve those who need them.

lift the charter cap

20 years of charters

We are a school that believes in changing the trajectory of families’ lives through education, wraparound services and family support. We applied for another K – 5 school, and we were approved. However, we cannot open because of the cap. It is time to put aside adult political agendas, so that children and families can get what they need through education.

Miriam Raccah, Executive Director, Bronx Charter School for the Arts