New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0563-2015    Version: * Name: Reject any attempt to raise the cap on the number of charter schools.
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on Education
On agenda: 2/12/2015
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to reject any attempt to raise the cap on the number of charter schools.
Sponsors: Daniel Dromm , Margaret S. Chin, Corey D. Johnson, Rosie Mendez, I. Daneek Miller, Stephen T. Levin, Vincent J. Gentile, Mark Treyger, Antonio Reynoso, Alan N. Maisel, Helen K. Rosenthal, Deborah L. Rose, Inez D. Barron, Karen Koslowitz, Ben Kallos, Brad S. Lander
Council Member Sponsors: 16
Attachments: 1. Committee Report 3/3/15, 2. Hearing Testimony 3/3/15, 3. Hearing Transcript 3/3/15, 4. Committee Report 3/30/15, 5. Hearing Testimony 3/30/15, 6. Hearing Transcript 3/30/15, 7. March 31, 2015 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 8. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 3-31-15, 9. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - March 31, 2015
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
3/31/2015*Daniel Dromm City Council Approved, by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
3/30/2015*Daniel Dromm Committee on Education Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
3/30/2015*Daniel Dromm Committee on Education Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
3/3/2015*Daniel Dromm Committee on Education Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
3/3/2015*Daniel Dromm Committee on Education Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
2/12/2015*Daniel Dromm City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
2/12/2015*Daniel Dromm City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
Res. No. 563
 
 
Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to reject any attempt to raise the cap on the number of charter schools.
 
 
By Council Members Dromm, Chin, Johnson, Mendez, Miller, Levin, Gentile, Treyger, Reynoso, Maisel, Rosenthal, Rose, Barron, Koslowitz, Kallos and Lander
 
Whereas, In 1998 the State Legislature passed the New York Charter Schools Act authorizing the creation of up to 100 charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated schools; and
Whereas, Since that time, the cap on the number of charter schools allowed to operate in New York State has been raised twice; and
Whereas, In April 2007, the New York State Legislature doubled the number of charter schools allowed in the state, from 100 to 200; and
Whereas, In 2010, the Legislature raised the cap again to allow an additional 260 charter schools, making a total of 460 charters available statewide, with smaller sub-caps for New York City and each of the statewide authorizers; and
Whereas, More than half of the new charters authorized in 2010, 156 out of 260, remain unused; and
Whereas, Under the current State charter school cap, up to 256 of the statewide charter school total of 460 can be located in New York City; and
Whereas, Currently, in New York City 197 charters are operating, 34 have been approved, and 25 remain under the cap; and
Whereas, Outside of the City 134 remain unused under the cap for the rest of the State; and
Whereas, Since charter schools were first authorized, there has been no comprehensive, independent evaluation of charter school operations; and
Whereas, There have also been relatively few audits of charter schools conducted by the New York State Comptroller to date, primarily due to legal challenges by charter operators to the Comptroller's authority to perform such audits; and
Whereas, Audits of charter schools that have been conducted by the State Comptroller have found significant numbers of deficiencies and mismanagement, including conflicts of interest, failure to complete required employee criminal history record checks, and inadequate systems of internal controls over basic financial operations in some cases; and
Whereas, A November 2014 report by The Center for Popular Democracy and The Alliance for Quality Education estimates that New York could stand to lose $54 million in charter school fraud in 2014 alone; and
Whereas, Because charter schools are publicly funded, it is important to conduct a comprehensive assessment before committing substantial further investment; and
Whereas, Additionally, as part of the 2014 State budget legislation, New York City is the only district now required to provide free space to all new or expanding charter schools, either by co-locating the charter in a City school building or by paying for rent in private space; and
Whereas, According to the New York City Charter School Center, the City would have to pay the lesser of the actual rental cost or a total amount up to $2,775.40 per pupil in 2015-16; and
Whereas, There are not many City schools that are sufficiently underutilized to accommodate such co-locations; and
Whereas, In fact, most schools are near, at or over-capacity; and
Whereas, A July 2014 report by the Independent Budget Office (IBO) found that 43.5% of students attended school in buildings that were at 102.5% of capacity or higher in the 2012-2013 school year, and also found that overcrowding in City schools has been steadily increasing; and
Whereas, Thus, the City will increasingly have to pay rent for charter schools in private space; and
Whereas, Under the existing cap the City will have to provide space for an additional 59 new charter schools as well as any existing charters that wish to expand; and
Whereas, Raising the cap will create an undue financial hardship for the City, due to this new requirement for providing free space to charter schools; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature to reject any attempt to raise the cap on the number of charter schools.
 
LS# 3509
JA
2/9/15