January 11, 2010

Reject the Governor's Program Bill. Support 'Chartering Fairness.'

Source: NYSUT Communications

Reject the governor's program bill and support 'chartering fairness.'

Governor Paterson has proposed legislation which, if enacted, would eliminate the charter school cap without any needed reforms that would provide financial relief, accountability, equity and fairness. New York state is well qualified for Race to the Top funding and would be even better positioned by enacting meaningful charter law reform that benefits the children and communities we serve.

The governor's program bill would lift the charter school cap without making any of the reforms needed to ensure fairness for taxpayers and for students in both charter and regular public schools.

Before the cap is addressed, the law must be fixed to provide:

FAIRNESS FOR STUDENTS - Level the playing field to ensure charter operators serve the same population as regular public schools, including students with disabilities, students who are English language learners and students most in need.

FAIRNESS FOR SCHOOLS - Ensure that schools are fairly funded, not disadvantaged or penalized by an influx of new operators. Every child should have a quality public education in a safe and healthy learning environment, whether they attend a charter school or a regular public school. We must offer relief to cities and community school districts already oversaturated with charter schools.

FAIRNESS FOR TAXPAYERS - Require charter operators to fully disclose how and where they spend taxpayer money, where other support comes from and who is enriched from their operation. Not all charter schools are created equal. "Charter corporate" is fighting tooth and nail to avoid the audits and disclosure requirements that govern regular public schools. That needs to end. For-profit operators should be banned. Kids must come before corporate profits.

More than 10 years have passed without meaningful reform. It is time to do it right. support "chartering fairness" – NYSUT's plan to reform the charter law.

For more information

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Time to fix charter law to advance fairness, transparency

The union's message on the charter law is simple: Before the state raises the cap on charter schools, lawmakers must fix the law to ensure fairness in funding and in how students are selected, transparency in charter operator finances and an end to the practice of skimming profits.

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School administrators call for chartering fairness, accountability

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UFT report: NYC schools are 'separate but unequal'

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Ad campaign urges lawmakers to support 'chartering fairness'

The following message to state legislators appeared in the Legislative Gazette as part of an advertising campaign the week of January 11, 2010.

TAKE ACTION: Tell lawmakers to reject the governor's program bill

Your representatives in Albany need to hear from you immediately. Here are three ways you can take action today.

Why charter school law needs reform

NYSUT calls for reforms to New York's charter school law, saying it is time to retool it to provide greater accountability for student results and taxpayer dollars.

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