Dozens of NYC Parents, Legislators Call on Albany to Fight for Public Charter Students in State Budget
Assm. Marcos Crespo and Robert Rodriguez Join Parents at State Capitol, Urge Colleagues to Keep Charter Schools in 2017 Budget
Albany, NY – Dozens of New York City parents joined Assembly Members Marcos Crespo and Robert Rodriguez in Albany today and called on state legislators to give public charter schools equal treatment in the state budget. Standing in front of the Great Western Staircase, parents from across the city spoke to their children’s life-changing experiences in public charter schools.
“I want more families to have the opportunities that we have had, and that can’t happen without giving charter schools access to the equal funding and facilities they deserve,” said Jemeice Bloomfield, a public charter school parent from Coney Island. “Every public school student in New York City should be treated fairly, no matter what type of public school they attend.”
“We should be making sure that no matter where children go to school, they are fully funded to get that sound, quality education that the state is mandated to provide,” said Assm. Marcos Crespo. “Every public school should be given the necessary resources, including public charter schools.”
With New York State expected to approve a final budget in the next month, public charter school leaders and parent activists have spent the first months of 2017 fighting to ensure that public charter schools are equitably included.
In January, more than a thousand parents took to Albany and rallied for fair funding and facilities access for public charter schools. These parents were joined by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, State Senators Martin J. Golden, Ruben Diaz Sr. and Kevin Parker, and Assembly Member Crespo, who called on their colleagues to support charters’ critical work educating high-need students. Parents have also held hundreds of meetings with elected officials over the past several months.
This past fall, New York City’s public charter schools reached the milestone of educating over 100,000 students per year. Now, with 44,000 children still on public charter waiting lists and a persistent achievement gap that separates low-income students from their wealthier peers, the public charter sector is working to double in size and reach 200,000 students by 2020. Fair funding and access to facilities is a critical component of reaching this goal.
“Expanding access to public charter schools will help eliminate the achievement gap in New York City and will help give children like my son access to the schools they deserve,” said Tamika Bradley, a public charter school parent from Brownsville. “I’m here today to ask our elected leaders in the State Legislature to support giving public charter schools equal treatment in the upcoming state budget.”
“As New York City’s charter schools work to meet the demand from families and serve 200,000 students by 2020, they must have the support of their leaders in Albany during this crucial state budget season,” said Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of Families for Excellent Schools “Charter school families have many champions in Albany, and need their support now more than ever.”