Calling on state lawmakers to end the inequitable funding of their children, charter schools from across Rochester came together today for a day of action and voter registration event at Rochester Academy Charter School.
ROCHESTER CHARTER SCHOOLS COME TOGETHER FOR DAY OF ACTION, VOTER REGISTRATION EVENT AND CALL FOR FAIR FUNDING FROM ALBANY
Rochester Charter Kids Are Not Worth-Less But Right Now They Only Receive 68 Cents on the Dollar Compared to Other Public School Children
ROCHESTER, NY – Calling on state lawmakers to end the inequitable funding of their children, charter schools from across Rochester came together today for a day of action and voter registration event at Rochester Academy Charter School. Families, teachers and supporters were joined by a representative from the office of State Senator Rich Funke (R-Rochester) and had the chance to call on Governor Cuomo and their elected leaders in Albany to fight for them during budget negotiations and provide equity in the form of facilities funding to all of the schools in New York State that don’t receive it.
“I am not worth less than other public school students, but right now I’m treated like it in the eyes of the law,” said Jayda Collins, a student at Young Women’s College Prep Charter School. “It is time for elected leaders to stand up for all students, all children and fund them fairly.”
Statewide on average, charter school students receive 75 cents on the dollar compared to students in district schools but the gap in funding is worse in Rochester, where charter children only receive 68 cents on the dollar. A 2014 law allowed some charters in New York City access to facilities funding but it left out some schools in that city and all charters outside of New York City. This denial of facilities funding resulted in huge funding disparity and forces charter schools to pay rent or mortgage, and spend scarce dollars on building maintenance – something other public schools do not have to do.
Northeast Charter Schools Network Western New York Advocacy Manager Duncan Kirkwood said, “To me this is personal. I have a child in a district school and a child in a charter school – and I want both my children to be treated fairly under the law. Thousands of charter kids around the state and right here in Rochester deserve facilities support and equitable funding. These are our children and their education is worth just as much as every other child’s. Legislators can talk the talk but this is the year they can fulfill their promise not to leave Rochester kids out.”
Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts School Leader Dr. Donna Marie Cozine said: “Our school budget is spread thin, forcing us to spend our already scarce dollars on the cost of a building and its repairs. That is money that could instead go to teachers, social workers and classroom instruction for our children. Charters are the only public schools in the state faced with this challenge. As a charter school founder, leader and parent I implore our lawmakers to show our children that they are not worth less by providing equal funding to public charter schools. This is the year to fix this inequality.”
Participating schools included:
Rochester Academy Charter School
Young Women’s College Prep Charter School
Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School
Renaissance Academy Charter School for the Arts
Genesee Community Charter School
Vertus Charter School
Discovery Charter School
Rochester Career Mentoring Charter School
University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men
Urban Choice Charter School
About the Northeast Charter Schools Network: The Northeast Charter Schools Network is the membership and 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.
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