Strengthening Student Outcomes & Opportunities Through Charter Mergers

As New York City’s education landscape continues to evolve – and schools seek to strengthen their programming and support better outcomes for their students – charter school leaders and boards are considering merging their education corporations to maximize impact. The Charter Center, in partnership with The Peter & Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, is committed to supporting charter mergers, both through professional development seminars as well as grants to assist schools in addressing financial hurdles that have the potential to derail a merger.


There are several reasons why charters schools would consider a merger:

  • Broaden and strengthen educational programs & resources
  • Create financial and administrative economies of scale
  • Enhance enrollment opportunities and educational continuity for families
  • Turn around a struggling school

Charter Connect Seminars

The Charter Center’s new professional learning series, Charter Connect, offers guidance and insights into the lifecycle of the merging process. Whether you’re looking to improve student access to critical programs, increase efficiency by sharing administrative structures or assume responsibility for a struggling school, there are myriad issues to consider. We’ll tackle the strategic questions to consider before embarking on a merger, discuss considerations for negotiating the merge, learn what the authorizers are looking for in a successful merger application, and discuss best practices for implementation. Throughout we’ll tap into the knowledge and experience of your recently-merged colleagues, NY’s authorizers, and industry experts. To learn more about our professional development series and register for events, please contact Sherita Smith.

Charter Connect Grants

We recognize that merging is not without its challenges and that financial hurdles have the potential to derail the process. The Charter Connect Grant Fund aims to support schools’ ability to successfully merge education corporations as leaders seek to increase opportunities and improve achievement outcomes for students.


Merging costs money, and partnering charter schools must anticipate and be able to cover these expenses. In some cases, unusual or unexpected expenses arise, which have the potential to stall or block a deal. Charter Connect Grants assist merging schools in covering these kinds of expenses which might include, for example, lease buy-outs, advocacy assistance or additional requirements imposed by the authorizer. Merging schools can request grant assistance for any aspect of funding necessary to support the deal negotiation and/or implementation stages in order to ensure a successful outcome.


NYC charter school(s) engaged in the merger process are invited to apply. Merging schools can jointly submit an application, or in the case of a turnaround, the lead charter can apply individually.


All grant applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis by a Merger Fund Committee comprised of representatives from various organizations experienced in the merger process. The Committee will make grant award determinations based upon financial need and project relevance. Grants will be conditionally approved, with awards granted only after the merger receives final approval from all relevant Authorizers.

Click here to discuss your grant needs with our team.