June 13, 2017

NYSUT lauds Senate Democrats' bill on charter transparency and accountability

Author: Ned Hoskin
Source: NYSUT Communications
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Caption: "If charters are public schools, they should be required to serve all students – just like regular public schools," said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta, pictured here at the podium with (l-r) Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins; Sen. Mike Gianaris; and Sen. Liza Krueger. Photo by Carl Korn.

NYSUT and the United Federation of Teachers, the statewide union's local affiliate in New York City schools, expressed support for a bill introduced today by State Senate Democrats that would provide enhanced transparency and accountability among charter schools.

The bill would implement a series of regulations and guidelines for the schools, which are publicly funded yet operate with little regulation.

The legislation recognizes that charter schools currently run with nearly no oversight or transparency, despite the fact they serve thousands of New York students and operate in part with taxpayer money, said sponsor Sen. Brad Hoylman, D–Manhattan.

“NYSUT supports this bill's approach to ensuring that charter management serves all students equally,” said President Andy Pallotta. “Too many charters now exclude students with special needs; those who are homeless and those who are still learning English. That is wrong. If charters are public schools, they should be required to serve all students – just like regular public schools.”

UFT President Michael Mulgrew added, “Parents and taxpayers deserve to know how charters spend public dollars and to know that students are the real beneficiaries, not an afterthought. Charters have to be more accountable on everything from admissions and enrollment to discipline and finances. They need to show that they are about educating all children, not just about raking in more tax dollars.”

The legislative session is scheduled to end June 21.