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Albany Urged to Lift Charter School Cap

Today, the Partnership for New York City released a letter to Governor Cuomo and leaders of the state legislature urging them to increase the allowable number of charter schools in the city. Charter schools are some of the highest performing schools and provide important public education options for lower and middle income families.

Dear Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie:

On behalf of the business leaders of New York City, I am writing to urge your support for an increase in the allowable number of charter schools that can be established in New York City.

Public charter schools have enriched educational options in communities that desperately needed them. Charters have not detracted from the resources available to district schools, but have inspired greater support for public education on the part of the business community and philanthropists. Competition has turned out to benefit everyone, especially the students attending both charter and district schools.

Recently, the state-imposed cap on how many public charters are permitted to operate in New York City was reached. Already, six charter schools that would have otherwise been cleared to open have been blocked. This is a disservice to the students and families, particularly lower income households, who would benefit from expanded educational opportunities.

There are 53,000 city students on waiting lists for public charter schools. Of the city’s 50 highest-performing schools, 37 are public charters.

Members of the Partnership for New York City together employ 1.5 million New Yorkers. We consider it to be a top priority to equip more students with the high-level skills required to succeed in a rapidly-changing economy. Today, more than two out of three black and Hispanic students statewide lack the math skills that would put them on track for college. Lifting the charter cap is a clear way to ensure that more students are prepared for the jobs of the future.

We trust that you will take action to allow charter schools to continue to bring new energy and ideas to the city’s public education system and its communities by lifting the cap on city charters.


Kathryn Wylde

President and CEO

Partnership for New York City