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 9% increase in overall enrollment from the 2019-2020 school year to 2021-22 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.

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 84 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 families and advocates are calling upon the State’s legislature to eliminate NYC’s sub-cap and allow NYC charter applicants to access the 84 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!

*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


lift the charter cap


All families deserve a choice in where to send their kids to school, and all students deserve access to a high-quality education that sets them up for success. Where you’re born shouldn’t determine where you end up in life—that’s why we need to lift the cap.

James Merriman, CEO, New York City Charter School Center

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