NYC Charter School Applications Exceed Cap by 20,000

Published June 19, 2015

Student demand for spots in New York City charter schools far exceeds what the city’s charters can legally provide under the government-imposed cap on the number of charter schools.

A late April lottery garnered 21,000 applications for a mere 1,000 openings for the 2015–16 school year at Brooklyn’s Achievement First charter schools.

“Given the overwhelming demand, New York State lawmakers must address this need by allowing more charter schools,” said FreedomWorks Outreach Director Deneen Borelli, who is also a former Board of Trustees member for the Opportunity Charter School in Harlem.

“Lifting the cap on charter schools will help stimulate competition and motivate schools to do a better job of meeting each child’s individual educational needs,” Borelli added.

‘Liberating Children from Failing Schools’

Of the 197 charter schools currently operating in New York City, Achievement First is the second-largest chain with 17 schools.

“We are proud of our teachers and school leaders, whose hard work has created the great schools for which there is such high demand,” said Chastity Lord, Achievement First’s chief external officer. “However, this demand also serves as a clear reminder that many students and families don’t yet have access to great schools.

“These 21,000 applications, the most Achievement First has ever received in Brooklyn, represent a clear message: We need more high-quality public schools in our communities,” Lord said. “There are too many families stuck on waiting lists, and charter schools are a part of the solution. We need our legislators to ensure that the charter cap is lifted and that more students have the chance attend great schools of their choice.”

“More charter schools can also provide parents with choices to help liberate children held hostage in failing schools,” said Borelli. “Parents want what’s best for their child’s educational needs. Access to a good education can set children on the right path towards a successful future.”

Bruce Edward Walker ([email protected]) is a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute.

Image by Equality Charter School.

Internet Info:

Ben Chapman and Lisa L. Colangelo, “Charter School Operator Achievement First Receives Record 21,000 Applications for Only 1,000 Seats,” The New York Daily News: