December 14, 2006

Legislators decide against raising charter school cap

Source: NYSUT News Wire

Resisting an eleventh-hour effort by outgoing Gov. George Pataki, state legislators called to a special session this week did not agree to raise the current cap of 100 on charter schools in New York.

Several issues were under discussion this week, including pay raises for legislators and a civil confinement bill, and some political experts had expected the charter school cap to be lifted as part of a political compromise. The Legislature currently has no plans to reconvene until Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer is sworn in this January, although that could change.

NYSUT had lobbied aggressively against raising the charter school cap, as recent NYSUT research has shown that 86 percent of charter schools fail to outperform comparable public schools. NYSUT has always maintained that the charter school cap should not be lifted until reforms are passed that will improve education at charter schools and keep them from draining public school resources.

NYSUT will continue to seek reforms to the deeply flawed charter school process.