NYSUT Critical of Charter School Legislation

Oswego, NY – One of New York's largest teachers unions continues to call for better oversight over the state's charter schools.

With lawmakers considering lifting the states current cap of 200 charter schools, NYSUT said there needs to be more transparency in how public dollars are spent.

NYSUT's Carl Korn said if the cap was lifted to 460, charter schools which are run by private operators, would receive about $2 billion in public money.

"At charter schools we do not elect school board members, we do not vote on their budgets, yet they are receiving tens and hundreds of millions of dollars of tax dollars, without the same level of transparency and accountability," said Korn. "In fact in Syracuse, the Southside Academy charter school is run by a for-profit company. Our study shows between 40-50% of the money -- of taxpayer money -- meant for Syracuse students is being diverted to a for-profit company in Grand Rapids, Michigan."

Korn said while charter schools play a vital role in the education system, fixing the law would ensure fairness to students and teachers. He said charter schools are under-rolling students with disabilities and those who are English language learners, making test score comparison invalid.