Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Contact your legislator today about raising the cap on charter schools!

In the next few days, the NY State Legislature will vote whether to raise or eliminate the cap on charter schools. A recent study from the UFT found that charter schools enroll fewer immigrant, ELL, special education and poor students than the citywide average, and much fewer needy students than the districts in which they are located.

Charter schools also tend to have more resources and provide smaller classes than our regular public schools, because they are allowed to cap enrollment and class size at any level they want. Here is an oped from today’s News by Diane Ravitch that explores these issues.

Currently, 70% of the 99 NYC charter schools are located inside of DOE buildings, sharing space and sometimes squeezing space from our regular public schools. Many more are supposed to be co-located or expanded in public school buildings next year. This is leading to an inequitable and unsustainable crisis in this city.

Whether you support the creation of more charter schools or not, I hope you agree that all NYC children deserve the smaller classes that the state’s highest court said were necessary if there were to receive their constitutional right to an adequate education.

Currently, charter schools are approved in Albany with no thought of where they will go – often with deleterious effects on our regular public schools, where enrollment is rapidly rising, and class sizes are increasing at an unprecedented rate.

Please call your legislators today – and urge them to:

1- require that any new charter school must specify in advance the facility in which it will be located before it is approved;

2- ensure that a charter school cannot be placed in any building where at full scale, it will prevent the existing schools in the building from reducing class size to the mandated city goals of no more than 20 per class in grades K-3, 23 students per class in 4-8 and 25 in high school.

Click here to find the name and/or contact no. of your Assemblymember and State Senator. Calls are best, then faxes, and finally emails.

Also, please remember to come to our emergency citywide conference on Saturday on school closings and charter school sitings.

When: Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 from 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Where: School of the Future, 127 East 22nd Street, NYC. (take the #6 to 23 St.)

A flyer you can post or distribute in your school is here.

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