For Immediate Release: January 6, 2020
Contact: Abdul Sada / / 631-827-5208


New Campaign Features the Wide Range of Everyday New Yorkers Involved with NYC Charter Schools

With Over 126,000 Students Now Served by Charters, There Are Just Two Degrees of Separation Between Every New Yorker and Someone Connected to a Charter School

(NEW YORK) – The New York City Charter School Center today unveiled “I Am NYC Charter Schools” – a new storytelling social media campaign – that features the wide range of people who attend, work in, partner with, and support public charter schools. The new campaign is designed to show the full scope and diversity of New Yorkers served by and/or committed to the city’s 260 public charter schools, which now educate at least 126,000 students.

Over the last two decades, public charter schools have helped transform the city’s educational landscape, providing high-quality school options to families who need them most. Today, there are:

  • More than a million New Yorkers directly connected to New York City charter schools in some capacity.
  • Nearly 10,000 teachers serving charter school students every day.
  • An estimated two degrees of separation between every New Yorker and someone connected to a charter school.

The new campaign aims to debunk the our-kids-versus-their-kids myths that opponents of charter schools often seek to promote.

“New York City’s charter schools are made of so many different faces: families most importantly, but also community leaders, board members, teachers, local partners, and many, many others who together make up these vital institutions. Showing that amazing breadth and diversity, and telling their stories, that’s what this new campaign is all about,” said Charter Center CEO, James Merriman. “I hope it also reminds opponents that when you are out there attacking charter schools, you’re essentially attacking the more than a million New Yorkers who have chosen to support them.

Today, more than 90 percent of the city’s 126,000 charter school students are Black or Latino, and over 70 percent are from low-income or economically disadvantaged families. Charters serve special education students at the same rates as district schools, and, after several years of deliberate efforts to recruit more English Language Learners (ELLs), the number of ELL students enrolled in charter school kindergartens increased by 51 percent from 2012-2013 to 2017-2018.

“Charters schools are a central part of the educational landscape across the city, and they’re deeply enmeshed in local neighborhoods across the five boroughs. We serve children and families from all walks of life – no matter who they are or where they live – and as the charter sector continues to grow, this new campaign shows just how connected and committed New Yorkers are to public charter schools,” said Sashemani Elliott, Chief Academic Officer, Amber Charter Schools. 

“Our school serves families from Jackson Heights and its surrounding neighborhoods, and we have opened our doors to the children of public servants, union members, architects, physicians, and more. The truth is that charters don’t just deliver high-quality classrooms. They help our neighborhoods thrive because they’re accessible to all. This new campaign helps put a human face on the success of our schools,” said Stacy Gauthier, Founder & Principal, Renaissance Charter School. 

“As a parent advocate in central Brooklyn, I see the scope of people served by our school. I appreciate how this new campaign communicates both that public charters serve a wide range of families and that they deliver life-changing outcomes for children. It’s another step forward in spotlighting the magic happening at charter schools across New York and fighting back against false narratives,” said Natasha Cherry-Perez, Parent Advocate, Uncommon Schools.

The new campaign can be found at and contains video testimonials and stories from parents and educators. It will also be complemented by a five-figure advertising buy.

The launch of the campaign follows the Charter Center’s recent release of the Charter School Accountability and Oversight” white paper that details the rigorous process for opening and operating a public charter school in New York.

For more information on the New York City Charter School Center, visit