charters available to be issued for NYC

"Our school team has worked tirelessly to meet the needs of under-served families in our community - especially during the pandemic. Reissuing previously closed charters makes sure critical programs are available to more families that need them"

Jai Nanda, Executive Director,
Urban Dove Charter School

What’s the Charter School Cap?

The charter school cap is the statutory limit on the number of charter schools that can open in New York State, which currently stands at 460 with a smaller sub-cap for New York City. Under the current cap, the state’s two existing 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.*

How Many Charters Are Available for New York City?

None. Currently there are no charters available to be issued in NYC. Under legislation passed in the 2015 state legislative session, the charter school sub-cap for New York City increased to a maximum of 50 new charters, of which 0 remain.

Is There a Demand for More Charter Schools in NYC?

Yes. Charter school enrollment continues to climb, even in the midst of the pandemic: charter schools saw a 7% increase in overall enrollment during the 2020-21 school year (notably, charter enrollment of English language learners increased by 16%). Black and Latino families, in particular, are seeking high quality school options.

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.

There is Precedent for “Reviving” Charters

In 2015, the legislation revived 20 New York charters that had been previously issued and then were surrendered, revoked, or terminated prior to July 1, 2015. These charters are typically referred to as “zombie” charters. As of March 2019, all of the revived charters had been issued by the authorizers.

The Governor’s Proposal is a Practical Fix

The Governor’s proposal to reissue surrendered, revoked, or terminated charters in perpetuity maintains NY’s cap on charters, but provides incentive for low performing charters to be closed and replaced by much-needed new charter schools.

* Charter schools that are “conversions” from district schools do not count against the cap.

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