Charter schools are a hot-button issue, with the dividing line primarily drawn on how many there should be. Currently, 30 charters remain to be issued in New York City under state law. Charter school proponents are calling to increase — or completely remove — the cap, as well as nearly double the charter school population by 2020, while others want to focus more attention and resources on traditional public schools. Here’s a look at where officials stand on charter schools.
The new secretary of education under the Trump administration, Betsy DeVos, has long been an advocate of school choice — including charter schools and voucher programs. It’s anticipated that the federal government will make more of a push for charters, though a recent Brookings Institution analysis notes that there are “potential rifts within the Republican party at both the state and federal levels” that could limit implementing school choice policies.
In his executive budget, unveiled last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed creating one statewide charter school cap — rather than separate caps for the city and state — which would provide more flexibility for New York City’s charter school growth. Charter advocates celebrated the proposal.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is not in favor of increasing the cap on charter schools in New York City, saying in his testimony last month on the state budget that there are “ample” charters available and “there is no need to raise the cap at this time.” In the past he has also maintained that his focus is on the roughly 90% of NYC students who attend traditional public schools.