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Legislative Memo

BILL:

S.7506 / A.9506 Article VII, Part A

SUBJECT:

Increase Charter School tuition in alignment with public school spending

SUPPORT
with amendments

DATE:

February 8, 2018

 

The Business Council of New York State supports successful charter schools across the State providing school choice in high need communities. These schools operate with great success and significantly less funding than traditional district schools. The Business Council supports the proposed increase in charter school tuition in alignment with public school spending, but does not support restricting facilities aid and additional non-formula driven funding to be distributed to just New York City charter schools, thereby excluding schools in upstate and Long Island.

The proposal to revise the rental aid calculation for new and growing charter schools in New York City is a positive step, but should not exclude charter schools across the state. Charter schools in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Long Island or any other city should also be eligible to receive this support.

An estimated 56,000 students in cities across New York State attend charter schools denied facilities aid, including over 30,000 in New York City and 26,500 throughout upstate and Long Island. Students in these schools are no less deserving of proper facilities than students that attend district schools, as such The Business Council supports reliable and recurring facilities funding for all charter schools statewide.

Also, the Governor’s proposal in the Aid to Localities budget to share approximately $22.6 million in non-formula driven funding among charter school students in New York City, is generous, but again, excludes charter schools across upstate and Long Island. Any additional funding provided to the charter school sector should be shared statewide to maintain stability and allow schools to focus on the continued academic success of their students.

The Business Council supports aligning charter school tuition with district school spending, but opposes restricting facility aid and non-formula driven funding to only  New York City charter schools. Charter schools across the state face the same funding shortfalls and addressing shortfalls in one city and not others only exacerbates the inequity in public school funding.