To the Honorable Bill de Blasio:

We, the undersigned charter school leaders, write to implore you to make immediately available the same COVID-19 testing and tracing regimen you have provided to district public schools and their students to the 135,000 students whose families have chosen a charter public school in New York City.

To your great credit, you understood, in keeping with educators and researchers across the country, the importance of resuming in-person instruction sooner than most, particularly for those students receiving special education services and students in younger grades. We applaud your efforts and success in opening school buildings to New York City’s district school students. A critical component of that has been the testing and tracing program that you have developed. Through the enormous resources that only a city such as New York can muster, you were able to put in place a COVID-19 testing system at scale that has been essential to creating confidence among students, families and educators to resume in-person schooling.

Inexplicably, charter public schools, many of which share building space with district schools, have been excluded from this testing regimen. State law clearly states charter students are entitled to “any or all of the health and welfare services and facilities which are made available…to or for children attending the public schools of the district” (Education Law Section 912). Indeed, it is this precise language that has led a number of charter schools to file a lawsuit against the city that is currently making its way through the courts. The law is clear. The question is why students should have to wait a day longer for a judge to decide what is obvious when you have the power to not only follow the law, but to do what is right.

The fact is that many of our schools will not be able to open without equal access to this testing. Given the difficulties of testing supply and the enormities of the demand, even if charter schools had the resources to develop their own testing systems, there is simply no realistic way we could stand up a program that is comparable to the one you are running. What’s more, there is no need. Too often during the pandemic we have seen our federal government fail to lead—leaving states and cities to unfairly fend for themselves. We implore you not to replicate this dynamic when it comes to the well-being of NYC school children.

Please don’t make educators and students wait. We ask that you announce today that the same testing and tracing services in place in district schools be provided as needed and requested by any charter school in the city whether in public or private space. Nothing less is fair, acceptable or lawful.

Respectfully signed,

Vasthi Acosta, Amber Charter Schools
Diana Aguilar, Bronx prep
Danielle Alicastro, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Dominic Aliffi, Bronx Prep Charter High School
Katrina Aliffi, Democracy Prep Charter High School
Francis Amaniera, Democracy Prep Charter High School
Erin Amato, Democracy Prep Charter High School
Kelsey Amick, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Rachel Amoako, Hyde Leadership Charter School Brooklyn
Martha Andrews, Bronx Community Charter School
Melissa Andrews, NYC Charter School of the Arts
Marcia Anglin, Hyde Leadership Charter School, Brooklyn
Marlene Aponte, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Casey Ash, The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School
Paul Asjes, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Sonia Avila, Hyde Leadership Charter School-Brooklyn
Atiya Bailey, Harbor Science and Arts Charter School
Ronald Barzey, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Stephanie Baum,
Carl Baurle, New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities IV
Kate Baxter, Coney Island Prep
Constance Bedson, Hyde Leadership Charter School-Brooklyn
Emily Behan, Coney Island Prep
Marie Bergqvist, NYC Charter School Center
Richard Berlin, DREAM Charter Schools
Catherine Bittar, Elm Community Charter School
Christy Boise, Coney Island Prep
Alrica Boler, Democracy Prep Endurance High
Ann Bommarito, Harbor Science and Arts Charter School
Everett Boyd, The Renaissance Charter School 2
Janelle Bradshaw, Public Prep Network
Jessica Brenner, DREAM
Christina Brown, New York City Charter School Center
Drema Brown, Childrens Aid College Prep Charter School
Harris Brown, The Equity Project Charter School
Yvelis Brown, New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math and Science II
Richard Buery, Achievement First
Brittany Bullock, Democracy Prep Charter School
Kristina Buonviri, Harlem Prep Elementary
John Burke, Democracy Prep Charter Middle School
Kenneth Byalin, Integration Charter Schools
Alexis Cabrera, Hyde leadership charter brooklyn
Marilyn Calo, Family Life Academy Charter Schools
Jennifer Carino, The Equity Project Charter School
Glory Carrion-Gomes, American Dream School
Lorraine Carroll, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Erin Carstensen, Community Roots Charter School
Evelyn Castro, FLACS
Idalia Catalan-Fryer, The Equity Project Charter School
Rebecca Chatteram, Hyde Leadership Charter School-Brooklyn
Wilma Chen, NYC Autism Charter Schools
Natasha Cherry-Perez, Uncommon Schools
Pagee Cheung, MESA Charter High School
Erin Chilelli, Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary
Eunjee Choi, Democracy Prep Harlem Prep High School
Richard Chou, Coney Island Prep High School
Eve Colavito, DREAM
Marielle Colucci, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Mary Cottingham, Lois & Richard Nicotra Early College Charter School
Karlene Cowan, Bronx Charter School for the Arts
Alexis Cox, Achievement First Charter Schools
Jasmine Crenshaw, New York City Charter School Center
Erin Crespi, Achievement First
Rachelly Crime, Capital Prep Harlem Charter School
Greg Daniel, Democracy Prep Harlem Prep High School
Malaika Dejesus, Coney Island Prep
Genie Depolo, Manhattan Charter Schools
Maria Del Valle, The Equity Project Charter School
Alec Diacou, Rosalyn Yalow Charter School
Adriana Dias, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Cindy Diaz, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Lizabeth Diaz, Democracy Prep Endurance
Sandra Dupree, Hyde Leadership Charter School – Brooklyn
Brian Duran, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Rashid Duroseau, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Andres Esguerra, The Equity Project (TEP)
Alexa Feldman, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Amanda Figueroa, Coney Island Prep
Victoria Findley, Opportunity Charter School
Josh Finley,
Cary Finnegan, Brooklyn RISE Charter School
Joseph Fiorita, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Joselle Fisher, Hyde Leadership Charter School Brooklyn
Julie Fisher, NYC Autism Charter Schools
Mitch Flax, Valence College Prep Charter School
Christine Forbes, Hyde Leadership Charter School Brooklyn
Beginning Foundation, Beginning with Children 2/ Community Partnership Charter School
Caitlin Franco, Equality Charter School
Sean Fredericks, Lavelle Prep Charter School
Jonathan Friedel, Democracy Prep Endurance High School
Christina Froeb, Explore Schools Inc.
Ashley Furey, The Equity Project
Jonathan Gallo, Grand Concourse Academy
Stacey Gauthier, The Renaissance Charter School
James Giblin, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Matt Gill, New Visions for Public Schools
Steven Giordano, University of Florida
Marquita Gittens, Bronx Prep Charter School
Kirsys Gomez, Amber Charter Schools
Omar Gomez, The Equity Project (TEP) Charter Schools
Alexa Gonzalez, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Nakita Green, Democracy Prep Charter Middle School
Matthew Greenberg, Growing Up Green Charter Schools
Shelly Gupta, The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School
Kristina Gustovich, Hyde Leadership Charter Middle School Brooklyn
Barbara High, Hyde Leadership Public Charter School Brooklyn
Nicole Harewood, Democracy prep charter middle
Marisa Harford, New Visions Charter High Schools CMO
Alana Harris, The Equity Project Charter School
Alyssa Harris, Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary School
Jeannemarie Hendershot, Uncommon Schools
Maureen Higgins, NYC Department of Education
Kim Hild, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Shemel Hill, Democracy Prep Charter Middle School
Audrey Hintzen, Hyde Leadership Charter School Brooklyn
Victoria Holcomb, TEP Charter School
Bill Holmes, Global Community Charter School
Crystal Holmes-Smith, The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School
Andrew Holowczak, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Maureen Howard, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Thomas Howard, Bronx Charter School for Better Learning
Amanda Huza, Equality Charter School
Tricia Jack, Hyde Brooklyn Charter School
Gerald Jackson, democracy prep endurance middle school
Shubert Jacobs, Bronx Charter School for Better Learning
Tania Jarjoura, democracy prep charter middle school
Jennifer Jaye, NYC Autism Charter School Bronx
Alana Jenkins, Coney Island Prep HS
Giselle Jimenez, The Equity Project Charter School
Karen Johnson, Coney Island Prep Charter School
Joy Jones, GCA Charter School
Mason Jones, Harlem Prep High School
Linda Joneseaston, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Kimberly Joseph, Bronx Preparatory Charter School
Leslie-Bernard Joseph, Coney Island Prep
Ashish Kapadia, Central Queens Academy Charter School
Linda Karim, Collegiate Academy of Mathematics and Public Awareness
Rachel Kashner, Coney Island Prep
Drin Kaziu,
Allison Keil, Community Roots Charter School
Samantha Kienemund, Harlem Prep Elementary School
Emily Kim, Zeta Charter Schools
Jacqueline Laird, Hyde Leadership Charter School Brooklyn
Melissa Landro, Harbor Science and Arts Charter School
Kelisha Layne, Coney Island Preparatory Public Charter School
Rebecca Leblond, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Natlee Lewis, Hyde Leadership Charter School
Michelle Lewis-Mondesir, New Visions for Public Schools
Mya Lighty, Democracy Prep Pathways
John Lindquist, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Jeffrey Litt, Icahn Charter Schools
Isabelle Lombardi, Grand Concourse Academy
Lester Long, Classical Charter Schools
Elaine Lopez, International Leadership Charter High School
Estefany Lopez, Comp Sci High
Stella Ma, The Equity Project Charter School
Harbir Mahal, Harlem Prep Middle School
Marisa Maiorano, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Alissa Mann, Grand Concourse Academy
Nikki Marazzo, Hyde Leadership Charter School Brooklyn
Jessica Marcu, Opportunity Charter School
Tara Marlovits, Uncommon Schools
Margaret Marrer, Democracy prep
Marcos Martí, New York City Charter School Center
Penelope Marzulli, Prospect Schools
Gloria Mateo, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Carrie Mauer, Explore Schools
Sarah Maynard, Hyde Leadership Charter School – Brooklyn
Adele Mcconnell, Prospect Schools
Martin Mcdowell, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Laura Mcgovern, Uncommon Schools
Ryan Melis, New Ventures Charter School
Melissa Melkonian, American Dream Charter School
Monica Merchant, School in the Square
Nina Minogue, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Kara Miranda, Democracy Prep
Katherine Modesitt, Democracy Prep Charter Middle
Richard Mohabeer, hyde brooklyn leadership charter school
Denise Munoz, The Equity Project Charter School
Elisa Murphy, NYC Charter School of the Arts
Brigit Myles, Grand Concourse Academy
Andrew Ngeseyan, Community Roots Charter School
Sophie Nightingale, Coney Island Prep Upper Elementary School
David Noah, Urban Assembly Charter School for Computer Science
Donna Obrien, Oppprtunity Charter School
Sheena Oconnor, Hyde Leadership Charter School-Brooklyn
Brendan Osullivan, Harlem Prep Middle School
Robert Ollwerther, Harlem Village Academies
David Outten, Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary
Taina P, TEP
Pharah Pabon, Hyde Leadership Charter School – Brooklyn
Chelsey Palmer, Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary School
Jennifer Park, The Equity Project
Sonia Park, Central Queens Academy Charter School
Ksenia Parris, Community Roots Charter School
Shirley Paul, HYDE LEADERSHIP CHARTER SCHOOL
Margaret Peeler, The Equity Project Charter School
Meghann Persenaire, St HOPE Leadership Academy
Kevin Pesantez, Coney Island Prep
Jefferson Pestronk, New Visions for Public Schools
Favrol Philemy, Equality Charter High School School
Sarah Phillips, NYC autism charter school
Jenny Pichardo, Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School
Rehana Pierre, Coney Island Prep Charter School
Renisha Pierre, Key Collegiate Charter School
Joe Posner, New Visions for Public Schools
Sonila Preka, Bronx Prep Charter Middle School
Erienne Rojas, EMBLAZE ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL
Emmalee Rainey, Democracy Prep
Ruth Re, Democracy Prep Charter Middle School
Annika Reno, Opportunity Charter School (OCS)
Christina Reyes, Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School
Cynthia Rietscha, New Visions Charter Schools
Stephen Riff, Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation
Angelique Rios, Bronx Prep Charter
Jason Rios, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Emily Ritchings, Democracy Prep Harlem High School
Anthony Rivera, Opportunity Charter School
Natalee Rivera, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Laura Rizzi, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Lisa Robotham, Coney Island Prep
Geoffrey Roehm, Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School
Sofia Roman, Harlem Prep Elementary School
Jon Rosenberg, Hebrew Public
Daniel Rubenstein, Prospect Schools
Rebecca Rush, Coney Island Prep Charter Schools
Ellen Ryder, Harlem Prep High School
Starris Simone, Grand Concourse Academy
Shavalsia Sabb, Democracy Prep Public School
Matt Salvatierra, Brilla Public Charter Schools
Arthur Samuels, MESA Charter High School
Emily Samuels, Opportunity Charter School
Samantha Sanacore, Achievement First
Patricia Sanchez, Coney Island Prep High School
Dahiana Sanchez-Johnson, Urban Dove Team Charter School II
Pam Sanders, Brooklyn Charter School
Carol Santiago-Dejesus, NYC Autism Charter Schools
Michelle Santos, Neighborhood Charter School Harlem
Denise Schiraldi, Bronx Academy of Promise Charter School
Jessica Seeman, NYC Autism Charter School – East Harlem
Kim Sekel, Harlem Prep High School
Lisa Silva, The New American Academy Charter School
Gabrielle Simonetti, Grand Concourse Academy
Michael Simonetti, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Cathleen Sims, Success Academy
Julie Singer, NYC Autism Charter School
Lucy Smith, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Erika Soderlund, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Cathya Solano, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Natalia Solano, Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem
Simrun Soni, New Visions
Patricia Soussloff, Neighborhood Charter Schools
Wayne Sparacino, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Heather Staats, Harlem Prep Charter School
Jordan Stenzel, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Sara Stone, Community Roots Charter School
Sheila Sullivan, Democracy Prep
Ronald Tabano, JVL Wildcat Academy Charter HS
Thomas Tafejian, TEP Charter School
Simone Teitelbaum, The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School
Leandro Tejada, Democracy Prep Charter Middle School
Pamela Tejeda, Harlem Village Academies
Susan Tenner, Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School (BUGS)
Christina Tettonis, Hellenic Classical Charter School
Prateek Thakur, Democracy Prep Harlem Middle School
Linda Timko, Coney Island Prep
Nicholas Tishuk, Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School
Amanda Torres, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Milagros Torres, Mott Haven Academy Charter School
Monica Torres, Democracy Prep Endurance Middle School
Lianny Toval, The Equity Project Charter School
Suzanne Trice, Mott Hall Charter School
Kristina Tricomi, Coney Island Prep
Natasha Trivers, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Diane Tureski, Equity Project Charter School
Max Turner, East Harlem Scholars Academy
Keri Uhl, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Stephanie Urena, The Equity Project Charter School
Martha Valencia, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Zeke Vanderhoek, The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School
Leena Varghese, Academic Leadership Charter School
Susan Varvara, Integration Charter Schools
Maria Vaz, Legacy College Prep Charter School
Matthew Vidmar, DPHHS
Aaron Villela, The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School
Dana Volini, John W Lavelle Prep Charter School
Priscilla Walton, Elm Community Charter School
Winsome Warden, St HOPE leadership Academy Charter Middle School
Melissa Wasley, Coney Island Prep Charter Middle School
Maureen Weaver, The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School
Jonathan Werle, Hebrew Public
Hilary Whitney, Harlem Village Academies
Monica Wilkinson, NVCHS Humanities III
Renee Willemsen-Goode, Family Life Academy Charter Schools
Veronica Woolley, Explore Empower Charter School
Kevin Xu, Democracy Prep Harlem High School
Helen Zapantis, Grand Concourse Academy
Thomas Zappala, Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Steven Zimmerman, Academy of the City Charter School
Chantal Zuniga, Brooklyn RISE Charter School
Melissa Alston, Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School
Alisa Giaco, TEP Charter School
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