Today, over 600 New York City families, elected officials, school leaders, and community advocates convened at the New York State Capital to celebrate 25 years of charter schools and the positive impact they have had on a generation of New York City students. Since the passage of New York State’s Charter School Act in 1998, New York’s charter sector has grown from three schools serving a few hundred students to 274 charter schools on approximately 420 campuses serving 142,500 students, or 15% of all of NYC’s public school students.
Learn more about 25 years of NYC charter schools and hear the stories of charter school leaders, teachers, and alumni here.
“In 1998, no one could have foreseen that 25 years later, approximately nearly 150,000 students would have chosen a charter school as the public school that works best for them. Nor could they have imagined just how embedded into the fabric of their communities – and our system of public schools – charter schools have become, or even the academic success they have proven to be,” said James Merriman, CEO, New York City Charter School Center. “This milestone is only possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of school leaders, teachers, and education advocates who continue to go above and beyond for students and families. As we look ahead to the next 25 years, we will continue working to ensure that every student has equitable access to the high-quality public education that charter schools provide.”
“From closing the achievement gap for thousands of Black and Latino students to providing specialized education for students with IEPS or English Language Learners, charter schools have made a profound impact on the lives of New York City students and families,” said Jaime White, Chief Academic Officer, Merrick Academy. “Every child deserves access to a high-quality education that serves their individual needs and allows them to succeed inside and outside of the classroom, no matter where they live — and that’s exactly what charter schools have provided for thousands of students over the past 25 years.”
25th Anniversary of Charter Schools
The New York City Charter School Center has launched a comprehensive new education, engagement, and outreach campaign celebrating the 25th anniversary of charter schools in New York with the passage of the state’s Charter Schools Act in 1998. The year-long campaign, which began in the fall of 2023, commemorates the impact public charter schools have had on NYC’s education landscape by highlighting the voices of public charter teachers, leaders, families, students, and alumni, and features multimedia advertisements, advocacy, fact sheets, and more. Watch the 25th Anniversary Celebration Video featuring respected leaders in the charter sector here and learn more about charter schools’ impacts through the 25 Years of Charters Fact Sheet, which provides longitudinal data on the reach and impact of the City’s charter schools here. More information about the 25th Anniversary Celebration can be found here.
About the New York City Charter School Center
The New York City Charter School Center is an independent nonprofit committed to ensuring all NYC children have access to a high quality public school education. The Charter Center fosters an environment in which public charters can open and flourish, and, through their innovative approaches, provide models for improving all public schools. The Charter Center helps new charter schools get started, supports existing schools, and engages the charter school community around key issues.
Learn more about the New York City Charter School Center at nyccharterschools.org.