For Immediate Release: February 3, 2023
Contact: Jason Novak / / 203-641-6681


(NEW YORK, NY) – As anti-charter activists and electeds begin their campaign to stop families from having more public school choices, it is clear that they will be relying almost exclusively on misinformation, misdirection, myths, misconstrued and obsolete data, and downright untruths. It’s because that’s all they have.
“Instead of creating and perpetuating myths about public charter schools, elected officials should take the time to listen to families in their own communities who are overwhelmingly in favor of charters,” said James Merriman, Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Charter School Center. “Let’s set the record straight – charter schools are public schools. They don’t compete with traditional schools for resources. Traditional district schools are fully funded and more funding is coming in next year’s budget – in fact, almost four times the jump that charter schools will receive.”

Merriman added, “All parents want is to find a public school that works for their child, and for many parents, especially those who don’t have resources to move or call in special favors for their children, that is a public charter school. Indeed, 38% of Black public school kindergarten students now attend a charter school. Let educators come together and strive to build high quality schools that can serve more students. Legislators attempting to block that growth aren’t fighting the so-called ‘charter industry.’ What they are doing is standing in the way of parents simply trying to do what’s right for their kids.”


MYTH: Charter schools drain resources from traditional district schools.
FACT: Funding for traditional district schools is at an all-time high. Traditional district schools will get 100% of their Fair Student Funding, and Foundation Aid is set to increase by at least 12% – and likely considerably more by the time the budget is negotiated. Meanwhile, charter schools are scheduled to receive a 3.3.% increase during the same period. Charter schools are a financial bargain for the City. As the Independent Budget Office has established, charter schools receive less public support than their traditional district counterparts, in many instances to the tune of thousands of dollars.

MYTH: Families aren’t interested in more charter schools in their community.
FACT: The overwhelming majority of NYC parents – 64% – have a favorable opinion of charter schools and support increasing the charter cap. That’s compared to just 23% who oppose increasing the cap.

MYTH: Charter schools aren’t held accountable by public officials.
FACT: Charter schools are not only held accountable by their authorizing entity, but also by numerous government agencies including the City and State Comptroller. Annually, charter schools must provide extensive reporting on their student outcomes and operations to NYSED, as well as conduct financial audits and publicly post annual reports on the school’s progress. The NYC Comptroller exercises audit authority over them as well. Every 3-5 years, charter schools are subject to a renewal process in which they must demonstrate their value to their students and communities. If a charter school fails to meet its obligations to its students, it will be closed.

MYTH: Charter schools pick and choose the students they serve.
FACT: NYC charter schools serve nearly the same numbers of students with disabilities as the district and ELL enrollment in charter schools has grown by 63% in the last 5 years. Charter schools are required by law to serve all students and must define their services for students with IEPs and English learners in their charter agreements. Over a third of all NYC charter schools also offer preferences for these special populations. The cap lift will allow for the creation of even more schools designed to serve special populations such as students with dyslexia, students impacted by the juvenile justice system and children in the foster care system.

MYTH: Charter schools are “corporate” and for-profit.
FACT: Charter schools are not-for-profit public schools and must adhere to a panoply of federal, state and city laws and regulations. Many of them work in tandem with storied social-service agencies such as the Door, the Foundling and Children’s Aid. A 2010 law mandated that no new charter school can be run by or even managed by a for-profit entity.

MYTH: There’s no need for more charter schools in NYC.
FACT: Coming out of the pandemic era, NYC is in the midst of a full-scale educational crisis. Families want and need more high-quality public schools – especially in communities like the Bronx, where the status quo has left so many kids struggling to succeed. In the Bronx, four in every five students at traditional public schools aren’t meeting proficiency in math, just one in three are proficient in reading. In contrast, Bronx charter school achievement is nearly double and, despite the Bronx losing 3.2% of its population, charter school enrollment increased by 5.5%.

Learn more about New York City Public Charter Schools & the New York City Charter School Center HERE.