ALBANY – A bill that would have removed a cap on charter schools has failed to pass in the New York State Senate.
Senator George Borrello first advanced the amendment during debate on legislation, establishing an office of racial equity and social justice, arguing that there is no better path to those goals than by providing high-quality education alternatives to families in traditionally marginalized communities.
“It is disappointing that despite Democrats’ continual rhetoric about prioritizing equity and opportunity, when presented with a chance to truly move the needle on those issues, they declined,” said Borrello in a statement. “While all families want the very best for their children, those without the financial resources to afford private schools must rely on the public schools. If those public schools are underperforming or cannot provide the individualized instruction that some students require, charter schools should be an available option.”
Under New York State law, only a total of 460 charter schools can exist in the state, with a separate cap set for New York City.
Currently, there are no more charters available to be issued in the city, where demand for access to charter schools is overwhelming.
In the 2019-20 school year, roughly 81,000 applications were submitted for approximately 33,000 available seats in New York City charter schools.
Senator Borrello noted data confirming the effectiveness of charter schools is prevalent, with 88 percent of students attending New York City’s charter schools outperforming their peers in the English language arts state exam and 91 percent outperforming on the math exam.
He added that this success is particularly important in light of the fact that 80 percent of SUNY authorized charter school students are economically disadvantaged.