Open Letter to Mayor de Blasio from Charter School Leaders Calls on Mayor to Fulfill Pledge to Serve All Children and Support Elimination of Charter Cap


New York, NY On Wednesday, leaders of high-performing public charter school networks representing 27,000 students in New York City delivered an open letter to Mayor de Blasio urging him to fulfill his pledge to serve “each and every child in this city” and stand with families fighting for an elimination of the cap on public charter schools in New York. The letter, signed by Dave Levin, Jacob Mnookin, Eva Moskowitz, Brett Peiser, Ian Rowe, and Dacia Toll, represents the latest push by educators, charter leaders, and parents to eliminate an arbitrary and discriminatory cap on public charter schools in New York.

With only 25 schools remaining under the cap in New York City, advocates have been building momentum in recent days for an elimination of the cap by the State Legislature prior to the end of the legislative session in mid-June. Last Friday, leading education advocacy groups, including the New York City Charter Center, Families for Excellent Schools, StudentsFirstNY, NECN, and the Coalition for Community Charter Schools stood with parents to call for an elimination of the charter cap.

The full letter is below:


May 20, 2015


Dear Mayor de Blasio:


You have called New York a tale of two cities, and we could not agree more.


In some neighborhoods, families have a choice of sending their children to high-performing district schools or affording a private or parochial education; meanwhile, many families in low-performing districts who cannot afford to pay tuition have no high-quality choices – or can’t gain access to the handful that do exist.


Charter schools level the educational playing field for their students. But as long as there is a cap on the number of charter schools in the city, New York will continue to have a school system where zip code dictates destiny. As leaders of public charter schools in New York City, we see firsthand how life changing an excellent school can be.


Already, we receive so many applications that we cannot keep up with demand; New York City has more families on charter school waiting lists than anywhere else in the country. The vast majority of these students attend struggling city schools—schools you recognize are not serving children well.


In your speech at Riverside Church last year, you said you were “devoted to each and every child in this city – in traditional public schools, charter schools, and religious schools.” You pledged to be the Mayor for all children.


We write to ask you to honor that commitment. Mr. Mayor, we urge you to stand with parents in their fight for school choice and to support eliminating the state’s cap on charter schools. We ask you to help make New York one city, with equal educational opportunity for all.




Dave Levin, Co-Founder, KIPP Foundation

Jacob Mnookin, Executive Director, Coney Island Prep

Eva Moskowitz, Founder and CEO, Success Academy Charter Schools

Brett Peiser, CEO, Uncommon Schools

Ian Rowe, CEO, Public Prep

Dacia Toll, Co-CEO and President, Achievement First

Families for Excellent Schools harnesses the power of families to advance policy and political changes that create and sustain excellent schools.

On Twitter at: @Fam4ExcSchools

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