Charter schools were created to serve as laboratories for developing, refining and creating innovative and effective best practices in education. Unfortunately, while well-intended, corporate charter schools have become a financial burden on traditional school districts, diverting millions in Foundation Aid funding into corporate coffers.
State leaders are finally meeting New York’s obligation to properly fund public schools by fully phasing in the Foundation Aid formula. Now is not the time to expand the state’s network of charter schools as lawmakers have proposed in the state budget — it threatens to undermine New York’s historic investment in Foundation Aid. Let’s keep public schools as the center of our communities. Public schools unite us. Charter schools divide us.
We see time and time again that corporate charters are more interested in their balance sheets than the well-being of students, families, school districts and communities. We've seen immediate and broad pushback to the state budget charter school proposal.
Legislators on both sides of the aisle are pushing back against the budget proposal to lift the regional cap and authorize the reissuance of “zombie charters.”
Hart Research Associates found New York voters don’t want more charters, nysut.cc/charterpoll.
Expanding charter schools is NOT a voter priority.
Voters want elected officials to strengthen public schools.
Voters across party lines oppose shifting funding away from public schools.
Voters don’t like charters’ lack of accountability and transparency, or that they underserve certain students.
“If [charter schools] are such a wonderful experiment, then let me see them in places that embrace them other than communities of color.”
“[For now-shuttered zombie charters] $153 million was diverted from [public] schools due to facilities charges. When you think about bringing back [zombie schools]… you see an exorbitant price tag.”
“Public schools are part of our communities. They are transparent and locally controlled. But school boards have no say in whether a charter school is established in the school district … local school boards should have final approval over a charter school’s application.”
“It’s clear that parents and communities really don’t want an expansion of charters. Public schools take all children with open arms … this is what public education is supposed to be about.”
Riverhead physics teacher Gregory Wallace doesn’t mince words when discussing the impact corporate charter schools have on the state’s most vulnerable public schools, like his. “It’s decimating our district,” Wallace said.
Niagara Falls City School District Superintendent Mark Laurrie says charter schools are out to make a buck and they’re leaving his students stranded.
In Hempstead, charter schools are the second biggest expense in the public school budget, ahead of special education and transportation. Educators worry that increased costs can’t be passed on to taxpayers, who are already paying more than residents in the neighboring suburbs, even though they earn considerably less.