New York City has 275 charter schools in all five boroughs, with six new additions from last year. As parents continue to weigh whether or not they should enroll their children in charters — among countless education issues across the city — it’s more important than ever that these 275 school reflects the needs and requirements of each individual student.
A charter school differs from a traditional public school in that charters still receive government funding, but operate outside of the previously established school systems in the geographic area where the school is located.
This means that charter schools are not as beholden to the sometimes strict statewide curriculum that traditional public schools follow. Instead, charters have the opportunity to explore alternative learning styles in addition to what the state expects to teach.
“Charter schools are independently operated public schools that have the freedom to design classrooms that meet the needs of their students,” a statement from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools website said. read. “It’s common to see charter schools led by former teachers who want to take the lessons they learned in the classroom and apply those lessons to an entire school.”
All charter schools are required to operate under a contract with a charter school authorizer, which holds individual schools accountable for the educational standards of their charter. However, all charter schools are different, with some focusing on subjects related to STEM education, college preparation while others combine art forms with each subject.
This ideal of having a charter school that emphasizes individual skills or subjects is one reason why charters can be so attractive to parents who want their children to have an individualized school experience.
“Every day I am inspired by the hard but incredibly joyful work of our teachers and staff to bring students back from the pandemic and empower them to create a future where they can reach their full potential as students and like people,” Jane said. Martinez Dowling, chief of external affairs at KIPP NYC, a charter school system. “I think what really sets KIPP NYC apart is our commitment to supporting students in their lifelong learning journeys – from the moment they walk through our doors in kindergarten, through graduation, college, their careers, and beyond to fulfill their potential.”
In the Big Apple, another attractive quality about charter schools is the emphasis on diversity within their student bodies as well as staff and teachers.
According to New York City Charter School Center during the 2022-23 school year, 49% of the student body in the NYC charter school system identified as Black and 41% as Latinx. Additionally, 80% of charter school students are economically challenged, 18% of students are in individualized education programs (IEP), 9.6% live in temporary housing and 9% are multilingual learners. .
The NYC charter school system has an estimated population of 142,500 students, with 15% of all NYC public school students attending a charter school.
New studies conducted by the New York City Charter School Center show that by 2022, NYC students will be attending charter schools. scored in higher proficiency rates in English language arts and mathematics than their district counterparts.
Citywide, Black and Latinx students attending charter schools achieved twice the proficiency rates of their district school peers in math, and scored nearly 20 percentage points higher high in English language arts.
Especially as the city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, parents and guardians are looking for ways to help their child get the best educational opportunities, and for some that means enrolling in a charter school.
Some educators involved in the state’s charter programs say that’s because the schools are seeing higher enrollment rates and higher general interest especially in responding to the pandemic, New York State must respond to the increased demand and raise the current caps on the number of charter schools that can open in a state.
The New York State cap is currently at 460 schools, with a smaller sub-cap in NYC.
“Despite the historic challenges of the past three years, charter schools deliver for NYC families – providing a high-quality public education that sets students up for success – no matter where they live in town,” said. James Merriman, CEO of the NYC Charter School Center. “But there’s still a lot of work to be done, and the need to open more seats in large public charter schools has never been higher. All families deserve to choose where they send their children. at school.”