March 4th SUNY Board of Trustees Meeting
Yesterday, the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees Charter Schools Committee held their monthly meeting. The full agenda of this meeting can be found here. The Committee extended the charter school renewals for seven schools, approved new charter school applications for seven schools, and pre-approved six applications for schools that are currently unable to be sent to the Board of Regents due to the NYC charter school cap.
The first item on the agenda was consideration for a resolution extending the charter school renewals of seven charter schools for full five year terms. The Committee voted unanimously to approve the full five year charter renewals for the following schools:
- The Academy Charter School in Hempstead
- Bronx Charter School for Excellence
- Brooklyn Prospect Charter School CSD 15
- Brownsville Collegiate Charter School
- Excellence Boys Charter School of Bedford Stuyvesant
- Excellence Girls Charter School
- Manhattan Charter School
The Committee also voted on thirteen new charter applications that were recommended for approval. Because of the cap on charter schools in New York City, there were only seven new charters to award. Chairman Joe Belluck motioned an order to break this group of new charter applications up where they voted on the first seven applications as a block, and then the remaining six applications as a second block. The applications were ranked in order from the highest scoring to the lowest. Only the seven highest scoring applications of the top thirteen were granted full approval.
The first group of applications that were granted full approval and their applications were sent to the Board of Regents. They included the following schools:
- Amber Charter School III
- Family Life Academy Charter School IV
- Zeta Charter School NYC 3
- Zeta Charter School NYC 4
- KIPP Beyond Charter School
- Brooklyn Ascend Charter School 6
- Girls Preparatory Charter School of the Bronx II
The second block of schools that the Committee took up for consideration had their applications pre-approved, but they were not sent to the Board of Regents because of the NYC charter cap. These schools were:
- Central Queens Academy Charter School II, Math
- Engineering and Science Academy (MESA) Charter High School 2
- Kwenda Collegiate Girls Charter School
- Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School 2
- Minisink Charter School
- Haven Charter High School
Outside of New York City, the SUNY Board of Trustees or the NYSED Board of Regents may approve ninety-nine additional charter schools. There were four applications received for new schools in Buffalo, Syracuse and Yonkers in the February RFP round, and recommendations on these new charter applications are anticipated to be brought before the Committee in May or June of 2019.
During the public participation portion of the meeting, two members of the City Education Council (CEC) District 3 and one Panel for Education Policy of New York City (PEP) member came out to testify in opposition of the proposal for approving the KIPP Beyond Charter School in Harlem. Vice-Chairman Merryl Tisch also shared some concerns she has with the way the current RFP process might apply certain weights, and asked that the Committee perhaps reconsider how they score the RFPs to make sure everything is being done in a manner that is as fair as possible. The Chairman asked the Committee to vote on these applications with respect to using the scoring method that is currently in place.
The Committee also approved a resolution revising two charter schools through mergers. The two mergers included:
- Merging Democracy Prep Charter School into Democracy Prep New York Charter Schools; and
- Merging KIPP NYC Public Charter Schools into KIPP NYC Charter Schools II.
Full video of the SUNY Board of Trustees Charter Schools Committee meeting can be found here.