Please see the below statement from Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito on efforts to raise the charter school cap in NYS:
Yesterday, I joined 25 of my City Council colleagues in signing on to a letter sent by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio to Governor Paterson and members of the State Senate and State Assembly. The letter calls for important reforms to the State’s charter school system, and points out a number of critical areas where serious improvements need to be made.
I just learned that, upon release, this letter was accompanied by a statement from Public Advocate de Blasio in support of raising the cap on charter schools in our State. It is important to note that the letter itself does not call for the charter school cap to be lifted, and at the time I signed on to this letter, I was not aware that it would be attached to the Public Advocate’s statement.
I would like to clarify at this time that until real reforms to our charter schools are implemented, such as those outlined in the letter, I will not support any actions taken to raise the charter school cap.
In School District 4, which falls in my district, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of charter schools in recent years. I share much of the community’s concerns about the opening of new charter schools while some of our existing public schools are being underfunded or closed, and I have called on the Department of Education to implement a clearer, more community-driven process for all school openings and closings, particularly with respect to charter schools.