- Filed (End of Session)
Res. No. 540
Resolution calling upon the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York to require a new application and public hearing when the designated community school district in a charter school application changes.
By Council Members Chin, Dromm, Mendez, Rodriguez, Gentile, Johnson, Levine, Rose and Rosenthal
Whereas, The Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (“the Board”) is designated by state law as a “charter entity” tasked with reviewing charter school applications; and
Whereas, In accordance with state law, the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) must hold a public hearing regarding any application for a new charter school in New York City; and
Whereas, DOE holds the required hearing in the community school district specified in the charter school application; and
Whereas, If the application’s specified district is later changed to another district in the same borough, the Board has, in at least one instance and citing past precedent, viewed the change as “non-material” and recommended approval of the application without requiring any further public hearing; and
Whereas, Different community school districts, even within the same borough, can have vastly different demographic make-ups and educational needs; and
Whereas, The current procedure deprives communities of the right to be heard regarding charter school applications that will affect their neighborhoods; and
Whereas, Additionally, this procedure fails to require applicants to take into account relevant statistics and demographics in instances in which the designated district is changed late in the application process, allowing applications that contain irrelevant information associated with the previously-designated district to proceed unchanged; and
Whereas, A change as significant as designating a different community school district in an application should be treated as “material” by the Board; and
Whereas, In order to enhance the transparency and effectiveness of the charter school application process, the Board should ensure that each application fully reflects the community school district that the applicant intends to serve, and that the public hearing has been held in that district, before it votes to recommend approval; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York to require a new application and public hearing when the designated community school district in a charter school application changes.