For Immediate Release: October 2, 2023
Contact: Gates MacPherson /


Campaign will Commemorate Public Charter Schools’ Impact on NYC & Lift up the Voices of Teachers, Families, Students, & Alumni

NYC Charter Schools Now Accepting Applications for the 2024-25 School Year

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Charter School Center today announced the launch of a comprehensive new education, engagement, and outreach campaign celebrating the 25th anniversary of charter schools in New York with the passage of the state’s Charter Schools Act in 1998.

The year-long campaign will commemorate the impact public charter schools have had on NYC’s education landscape by highlighting the voices of public charter teachers, leaders, families, students, and alumni, and will feature multimedia advertisements, advocacy, fact sheets, and more.

The kick off coincides with the launch of the Common Online Charter School Application for the 2024-25 school year.

The campaign kicks off with the release of a 25th Anniversary Celebration Video featuring respected leaders in the charter sector. WATCH THE VIDEO

25 Years of Charters Fact Sheet provides longitudinal data on the reach and impact of the City’s charter schools. LEARN THE FACTS

Families can submit applications to multiple charter schools through the Common Online Charter School Application APPLY NOW

“The passage of New York State’s Charter School Act in 1998 was no small feat – the political battle was real. And, those few brave and intrepid leaders who opened that first year had to deal with hostile forces of the status quo and grossly inadequate public funding, but they persevered and by sheer grit and determination built something out of nothing – new, innovative public schools,” said James Merriman, CEO, New York City Charter School Center. “Twenty-five years later, New York’s charter sector has grown from three schools serving a few hundred students to 274 charter schools on about 420 campuses serving 142,500 students, or 15% of all of NYC’s public school students. The City’s charter school sector is recognized as one of the most vibrant, high-achieving and diverse in the United States. It is hard to think of any public policy initiative that has proved as successful as this one. We owe our gratitude and admiration to those first brave charter leaders and teachers who opened their doors decades ago to the tens of thousands since who have worked so very hard to build successful, inclusive, supportive schools for the families and children that needed them the most.”

“Charter schools were created with one fundamental belief in mind – that every student, no matter what neighborhood they’re from or their family’s income – deserves access to a high-quality public education,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “New York City’s public charters have helped close the achievement gap for thousands of Black and Latino students in underserved communities like the Bronx and compete with some of the best school districts in New York State— an achievement worthy of celebration.”

“Charter schools were created with one fundamental belief in mind – that every student, whether you live on Lefferts Boulevard or Lefferts Avenue – deserves access to a high-quality public education,” said Assembly Member Brian A. Cunningham. “Since 1998, charter schools have offered parents the opportunity to choose the best educational path for their children. I salute NYC charter schools on 25 years of connecting students to quality education and helping to close the achievement gap.”

“Whether you’re from the Bronx, or Harlem, or the Upper East Side, everyone’s kids deserve to get a quality education – and that’s exactly the type of opportunity that charter schools create for thousands of families,” said Assemblymember John Zaccaro, Jr. “For twenty-five years, charters have helped level the playing field for thousands of kids historically shut out of high performing schools simply because of where they lived, helping them find educational and life-long success.”

Charter schools now educate an estimated 142,500 students, or 15% of New York City’s public school students. New York City has 274 charter schools across the five boroughs, including:

  • 94 in the Bronx
  • 90 in Brooklyn
  • 55 in Manhattan
  • 27 in Queens
  • 8 in Staten Island

To speak with someone from the Charter School Center about the 25th anniversary campaign, please email