Skip to main content
Full Menu Close Menu
Union Resolutions

Resolution in opposition to Governor Hochul's 2023 charter school proposal

Union Resolutions

WHEREAS, Gov. Hochul has proposed to allow about 100 additional charter schools in NYC, even though the legal charter cap has been met, by eliminating the regional limits and by adding the number of previously authorized charters known as “zombie charters” which have closed or had their charters revoked; and

WHEREAS, the total funding diverted from the NYC DOE public school budget is already substantial and growing each year, currently at approximately $2.69 billion – not counting the space and services that co-located NYC charter schools receive for free; and

WHEREAS, NYC charter schools that are sited in private space also receive subsidies from DOE to help pay for their rental costs, that this year totals an estimated $200 million; with 60% of that reimbursable by the state; and

WHEREAS, given the need to lower class size according to the new state law which mandates class size reduction starting next fall, charter expansion could deprive our public schools that opportunity; and

WHEREAS, 58% of the city’s charter schools have lost enrollment over the past three years, not including charter schools that opened or closed during that time; and

WHEREAS, most NYC charter schools have far lower enrollment rates of high-needs students, including English Language Learners and students with disabilities, and are known for their excessive disciplinary policies that push out students who do not comply with their strict disciplinary codes; and

WHEREAS a recent report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA revealed that charter schools in NYC are even more intensely segregated than district public schools; and

WHEREAS the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) has engaged its members in a campaign in opposition to Governor Hochul’s charter proposal, empowering members to educate and lobby their elected representatives in their boroughs, on social media, and during legislative events in Albany; and

WHEREAS, this campaign has flourished in partnership with the Alliance for Quality Education, the New York Branch of the NAACP, Make the Road NY, among other parent and community organizations, resulting in the removal of most of Hochul’s proposal from both one house bills released in March 2023 be it therefore

RESOLVED that the UFT strongly urges the Legislature to oppose the Governor’s proposal to increase the number of charter schools in NYC, either by eliminating the regional caps or allowing the re-issuance of “zombie” charters; and be it further

RESOLVED that, instead, we urge the Legislature to repeal the law that obligates DOE to provide space to charter schools in public schools or help pay for their rent– the only district in the nation with this onerous requirement; and be it further

RESOLVED that, in addition, the UFT will lobby the Legislature to make NYC eligible for state charter transition aid from now on, and be provided with the $2.62 billion in past transition aid that was unfairly denied; and be it further

RESOLVED that the UFT will work with NYSUT to lobby NY State and NYC Comptrollers to perform financial and performance audits on the charter sector, as well as DOE in their financial support of the charter sector; be it further

RESOLVED that the UFT will fight to ensure that all charter schools are legally obligated to adhere to the same disciplinary and suspension policies that public schools are required to follow under state law; be it further

RESOLVED that the law shall require the boards of all Charter Management Organizations to be subject by law to Open Meetings law; be it further

RESOLVED that the UFT will work with NYSUT to lobby the state legislature to pass all of the 2023 bills in both the Senate and Assembly that strengthen the accountability and transparency of charter schools so that all of the schools that serve NYC students operate on a fair and just playing field; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT will continue to fight for fairness and equity for all New York City schools through our “Public Schools over Corporate Charters” member campaign.