For Immediate Release
STATE CHARTER ASSOCIATION DISAPPOINTED THAT NYS BUDGET DID NOT PROVIDE PARITY FOR CHARTER STUDENTS; NEW FORMULA WILL PERPETUATE INEQUITY FOR YEARS TO COME
Albany, NY – The Northeast Charter Schools Network today sent the following statement in response to the 2017-18 state budget.
Northeast Charter Schools Network New York State Director Andrea Rogers said, “The recent budget deal did include some good news, especially considering how hard the Assembly fought against charter school students and families, many of whom are their own constituents. The malicious attempts to shut charters down again were blocked by charter school allies, and we remain grateful. When it comes to the funding compromise, however, we are disappointe
“Our position has been and always will be that charter students deserve equal funding.
“After days of analysis and numbers-crunching, the results are clear: while charter schools will see a boost next year, the new formula which will be put in place will prevent funding parity with other public school students.
“For 2017-18, there is an increase in basic charter school operating funding of $500 per student, with an additional amount to be released next spring providing a few hundred dollars more. It is clear the Senate coalition of Republicans and Independent Democrats, as well as the Governor, did not want charters to be abandoned at a time of record spending for education.
“But after examining the details of the new funding formula created by the budget, set to begin in school year 2018-19, we have determined this new policy is not a healthy funding solution for our schools.
“The return to a formula with predictable increases has led to some praise, including from within the charter community. Our concern is that the formula itself sets a new policy that will continue the funding inequity we have been fighting against. The essential problem is two-fold: 1) For most charter schools, it establishes a base lower than the original formula, meaning the percentage increase amounts to fewer actual dollars, and 2) It perpetuates the wide inequality between the funding that charters and districts receive. Under this formula charters will never be able to close the gap between charter and district.
“Finally, this new formula comes at a time when charter schools all over the state do not receive facilities funding. In a year where lawmakers reaffirmed the importance of adequate facility funding for those New York City charter schools eligible for the aid, schools across the state continue to struggle without resources for this basic need. There is a still a divide between schools that receive facilities help, and those that don’t.
“Until all charter schools in New York receive fair funding to provide an adequate school facility, along with fair operating funding, charter students will be shortchanged.
“Our schools and families want and deserve long-term funding solutions that provide true equity, and we will keep up our advocacy efforts focused on achieving that goal.”
About the Northeast Charter Schools Network: The Northeast Charter Schools Network is the membership and advocacy organization for the more than 275 charter schools in New York and Connecticut. Its mission is to support and expand high quality charter schools.
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