NY Lawsuit Demands Charter Funding Equity

Published November 7, 2014

Charter school families in upstate New York have filed a lawsuit over what they see as an unfair lack of funding compared to traditional district schools.

The Northeast Charter School Network is aiding five families from Rochester and Buffalo in their effort to close the funding gap between district and charter schools. 

Studies have shown in most states charters receive significantly less public funding than conventional public schools. NCSN’s Legal Director, Harold Hinds, says the disparity is too large to ignore.

“There is a tremendous need for fair and equitable funding for charter schools in New York State,” Hinds said. “On average, a charter school student in New York receives 25 percent less funding than a district school student, and in Buffalo, where the lawsuit was filed, the disparity is even worse.”

The lawsuit will likely face the common criticism charters already receive—that they take away funds that belong to district schools.

Responding to opponents of the lawsuit, Hinds said, “These are still public school students attending public schools. There is no reason these children should be shortchanged in this way for the sole reason that their parents decided to exercise choice.” 

Chris Neal ([email protected]) writes from New York, New York. 

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