Charter schools are public schools that are independent of the New York City Department of Education, unlike traditional district schools. However, charter schools are held accountable for advancing student achievement; if they do not meet their goals, a charter school can be closed. The combination of freedom and accountability for success allows charter schools to try new approaches, respond to community needs and put student learning first.

Virtual Charter School Visits

Find out what charter schools can offer your child. Due to COVID-19, charter schools are offering virtual open houses! View our citywide NYC Charter School Virtual Visits Calendar for specific dates and times.

nyc charter schools

Alum Spotlight: Elisa Castillo

New York state’s first charter school opened in Harlem in 1999, one year after the passage of the Charter Schools Act. Since then, an average of 12 public charter schools opened annually in New York City until the City’s cap was hit in 2019. NYC’s existing charter schools have continued to grow grades and expand their charters, and today serve approximately 14% of the city’s public school children.

NYC Charter School Student Proficiency

Charter schools prepare students for college and careers. Charter school students typically outperform their district counterparts on state exams.

Featured Resources

Research has repeatedly shown that NYC has one of the top performing charter school sectors in the country: