Upstate Charter Parents and Teachers Call on State Lawmakers: Don't Forget About Our Children During Budget Negotiations

Posted by on 03 / 23 / 2015 0 Reactions

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On the heels of reports that education issues are at risk of being left of out of the state budget, charter school parents and educators from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany today sent Governor Cuomo and their state lawmakers nearly 1,200 letters. The letters plead for fairer funding for charter school students.
 
For Immediate Release: Monday, March 23, 2015
Contact: Jessica Mokhiber, 518-573-0516jmokhiber@necharters.org 
 
UPSTATE NEW YORK CHARTER PARENTS AND TEACHERS CALL ON GOVERNOR, STATE LAWMAKERS: DON’T FORGET ABOUT OUR CHILDREN DURING BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS
Nearly 1,200 letters delivered asking for facilities aid, fair funding for children
 
ALBANY, NY  – On the heels of reports that education issues are at risk of being left of out of the state budget, charter school parents and educators from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany today sent Governor Cuomo and their state lawmakers nearly 1,200 letters. The letters plead for fairer funding for charter school students.
 
Specifically, the letters call on state leaders to provide facilities aid to charter schools located in private space and greater parity in per-student funding. Nearly half of all charter schools do not currently receive access to state aid to help pay for their buildings.
 
The letters came from parents and educators at charter schools who were left out of last year’s state budget that ensured facilities relief only for new and expanding charter schools in New York City — but did not help any schools outside of New York City.  The law left out 50,000 charter school children in 127 schools statewide. They are the only public school children in the state who receive no public funds for their facilities.
 
Earlier this year, parents and educators from New York City sent more than 4,800 letters to Governor Cuomo also pleading for facilities funding.
 
Principal of South Buffalo Charter School Brian Wiesinger said, "These letters show that parents in our community love their schools and will fight for fairness for their children. As lawmakers in Albany begin the final stretch of budget negotiations, thousands of parents and educators from upstate and Western New York hope they will do the right thing for charter school children and provide us with access to building aid this year."
 
Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School principal Jeff Halsdorfer said, “Our parents live in the city, pay taxes want their children to be treated like all public children. We have been a part of the fabric of the community for 15 years educating Rochester’s children – and we have been successful. Can you imagine what we could do if we were fairly funded? Our children deserve equal treatment.”
 
School leaders and parents led the letter writing, with support and assistance from the Northeast Charter Schools Network.
 
The Northeast Charter Schools Network CEO Kyle Rosenkrans said, “The denial of state facilities funding for charter schools has been the single biggest hurdle our schools have faced. They are the only public schools that don’t receive this aid but this year, we are heartened that the State Senate has included access to building aid in their one-house budget resolution. We are calling on lawmakers to include this funding in their final budget legislation – our state’s charter school children are counting on you.”
 
The letters are being delivered to Governor Cuomo’s office in the State Capitol and the offices of legislators for each school.
 
A sample letter can be read here:  http://bit.ly/1BaMXfc
 
Participating schools:
 
King Center Charter School
Enterprise Charter School
Elmwood Village Charter School
South Buffalo Charter School
Aloma D. Johnson Charter School
Rochester Career Mentoring Charter School
Vertus Charter School
University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men
PUC Achieve Charter School
Urban Choice Charter School
Rochester Academy Charter School
Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts
Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School
Syracuse Academy of Science Charter School
KIPP: Tech Valley Charter School
 
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. 
 
915 Broadway, Suite 110, Albany NY, 12207 
 
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