Charter school families, educators, and supporters from across the state today thanked the State Senate for budget proposals that would add considerable support to their schools and called on lawmakers for continued leadership throughout the next two weeks of budget negotiations.
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Contact (NYC Charter School Center): Danielle Filson, 860-707-3584
NEW YORK CHARTER SCHOOL FAMILIES, EDUCATORS UNITE AND THANK SENATE FOR SUPPORTING CHARTER SCHOOLS IN BUDGET PROPOSAL
As Budget Negotiations Enter Final Stretch, Charter Advocates Thank Albany Leaders For Their Pledge To Support Charter School Students Statewide
Albany, NY – Charter school families, educators, and supporters from across the state today thanked the State Senate for budget proposals that would add considerable support to their schools and called on lawmakers for continued leadership throughout the next two weeks of budget negotiations.
The Senate’s “Brighter Future” budget proposal includes three major boosts to charter schools:
- Access to the state building aid program. Right now, half of the state’s charter schools, including 40 percent of the charter schools in New York City, are denied public support for a facility. They are the only public schools in the state that are denied this state aid. The Senate proposal would be a tremendous boost to charter schools located in private space.
- An increase in per-pupil funding. The Senate budget includes a per-pupil increase of $150 over the Governor's proposed $75 increase. This amounts to a proposed total per-pupil increase of $225.
- Lifting of the charter school cap. The chamber’s one-house budget also includes the Governor's proposal to lift the charter school cap by 100 for a total of 560 schools.
The charter school teachers and families were joined by Senator Marty Golden from Brooklyn, and the Northeast Charter Schools Network and the New York City Charter Center.
Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) stated, "I have and will continue to stand as a leading advocate of the issues facing our charter schools in an effort to improve the education our students receive. As we move along in the New York State budget process and this legislative session, I look forward to attaining real results that teachers, parents and our students can be proud of."
"It's very simple. For Amani Public Charter School, and dozens of others in the same position, access to building aid means more dollars will stay in our classrooms, going toward teaching and learning for New York's neediest children. It's the wisest investment I can ever think of making, and it's good public policy," said Charles Stern, co-founder of the Amani Public Charter School in Mount Vernon, New York.
Rochester charter school parent Kimberly Penn said, "I chose PUC Achieve for my daughter because the Rochester City School District just wasn't a good fit for my daughter, and I wanted her to have a great education. She is thriving at her new school. However it is fundamentally unfair that she receives less public funding just because I chose a different and better option for her. There's simply no reason that she and her classmates should not receive the same amount of funding for their education that all other Rochester public students receive. I am calling on state lawmakers to stand up for my family and all the other families like me who are exercising their right to school choice."
The Northeast Charter Schools Network CEO Kyle Rosenkrans said, “We face a crisis, and the lack of state support for school buildings is one of the biggest obstacles to growing high quality charter schools across the state. Charter students are treated like second-class citizens and denied access to the same funding for school buildings as other public school students. That’s just not right. We have waited years for Albany to fix this inequity and a solution to this is now on the table. We are optimistic that the Senate will continue to lead and be a voice for expanding educational opportunity and choice—both upstate and downstate.”
"There's no question that New York parents need and want more and better public school options. Governor Cuomo's budget and the proposal released last week by the Senate make important steps towards realizing that goal by focusing on the urgent need to lift the charter cap and pursue equity in per pupil and facilities funding,” said James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Center. “We join parents and school leaders in thanking Governor Cuomo, Senate leadership and individual members of the Assembly who have shown leadership and bold vision by standing up for lower income communities - instead of the status quo and convenient political interests.”
About the Northeast Charter Schools Network: The Northeast Charter Schools Network is a regional advocacy organization for the more than 250 charter schools in New York and Connecticut. Its mission is to support and expand high quality charter schools in the region.
About the New York City Charter School Center: The New York City Charter School Center is an independent non-profit committed to fostering an environment in which public charters can open and flourish, and, through their innovative approaches, provide models for improving all public schools. The Charter Center helps new charter schools get started, supports existing schools, and engages the charter school community around key issues. Learn more about the NYC Charter School Center at www.nyccharterschools.org.
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