Monday, January 11, 2010

Regents Approve Six More Charter Schools

The Regents committee on Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education met this morning and approved six new charter schools, all of which will be located in New York City. Five of the six were previously approved by NYC Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein.

The new schools are:
- Kingsbridge Innovative Design Charter School;
- Teaching Firms of America Professional Preparatory Charter School;
- Bedford-Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School;
- Hyde Leaderhip Charter School;
- Imagine Me Leadership Charter School; and
- Riverton Street Charter School.

The Regents also renewed several existing charter schools: Enterprise Charter School in Buffalo; Urban Choice Charter School in Rochester; and Southside Charter School in Syracuse.

Congratulations to all the successful applicants, many of whom attended the meeting at the Education Department building in downtown Albany. A list of the Regents actions, recommended by the state Education Department, is here.

Several other charter schools previously approved by the State University of New York were acted on by the Regents, most of which were "returned" to SUNY with comments. This is a familiar dance between the two statewide authorizers since they don't agree entirely on what should be in a charter application, which is a healthy thing. The SUNY Trustees meet later this week and, as usual, will resubmit each returned application for approval and incorporation.

Charter Count toward 200
The Regents EMSC committee action becomes final when the full Board meets tomorrow and accepts its actions, which it always does. In fact, most Regents attend the EMSC committee to avoid rehashing the discussion when the full Board meets.

As it now stands, the Regents and school districts have approved 94 of its 100 charters, and SUNY has approved 82 of its 100, leaving just 24 charters remaining. However, Chancellor Klein has at least five more proposed schools pending with the Regents for its February meeting, and SUNY's deadline for new charter applications is today. As many as a dozen or more could be under consideration by SUNY for approval in spring.

As a practical matter, we are shortly reaching the state charter cap of 200, and it must be raised this week to include such action in the state's Race to the Top application, due on January 19th to the U.S. Department of Education.

Peter Murphy
for The Chalkboard

Disclaimer: The Chalkboard is hosted by the New York Charter Schools Association (NYCSA) as a place where members, public education advocates and others can view and respond to informed commentary on timely public education and charter school issues. The views expressed here are not necessarily the official views of the NYCSA, its board, or of any of its individual charter school members. Anyone who claims otherwise is violating the spirit and purpose of this blog. To comment on anything you read here, or to offer tips, advice, comments, or complaints. please contact TheChalkboard.