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HomeNewsNYC education committee councilmembers oppose charter school expansion plan

NYC education committee councilmembers oppose charter school expansion plan


New York City councilors are adding their voice to a chorus of lawmakers opposed to removing the cap on regional charter schools in the five boroughs.

Ten of the 19 members of the Council’s education committee, led by its chair Rita Joseph (D-Brooklyn), signed a letter Friday to push for rejection of Gov. Hochuls’ plan to make more than 100 charter schools available in the state. .

“The proposed plan to expand charter schools is something we cannot support,” the plea to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie read. Both chambers rejected the proposal in non-binding budget resolutions earlier this month.

Council signatories expressed concern about a potential burden on the district’s public schools that must pay rent for their charter counterparts, which last year totaled about $200 million. Officials estimate that increasing the number of charter schools would cost an additional $1 billion.

To keep those costs in check, the city will propose space in Department of Education buildings, an approach that committee members say will “hinder its growth and ability to fully meet the needs of its students,” and have a negative impact. on vulnerable children attending the district. schools public schools Approximately 130 charter schools currently share a space with traditional public schools.

“Fully funding our public schools and ensuring that we fully meet the needs of all of our children is non-negotiable,” the letter stated.

A pro-charter school rally in front of Manhattan City Hall on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

The governor’s plan would open up more than 80 charters available under the state limit to city operators, previously excluded by regional limits. The proposal would also bring back into play more than 20 “zombie” charter schools that have closed since 2015, either because the schools have not renewed their programs or have revoked them. There are 275 charter schools currently in operation.

It remains a point of contention between Hochul and Democratic lawmakers in the final week before the April 1 legal budget deadline.

The governor previously described the proposal as a “common sense” approach to give parents, especially black and brown families, more choice in their children’s education.

“Governor Hochul’s executive budget makes transformative investments to make New York more affordable, more livable and safer,” a statement from the governor’s office said Friday, “and looks forward to working with the legislature on a final budget that meets the needs of all New Yorkers.”

The Majority Leader and the speaker did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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