Statement from Eva Moskowitz on New York State Budget
Success Academy – April 9, 2017
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, APRIL 9, 2017**
STATEMENT FROM EVA MOSKOWITZ ON NEW YORK STATE BUDGET
Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools, the largest and highest-performing network of public charter schools in New York State, released the following statement today in response to the 2017-18 New York State Budget:
“This budget includes significant gains for public charter school children, but it also perpetuates fundamental inequities. Previously, state law increased charter funding at the same rate as district funding. Now, the Assembly has manipulated the funding formula to deprive charters of Mayor de Blasio’s 9.4% spending increase in 2015-16. Although Governor Cuomo and the State Senate fought hard to appropriate supplemental funding and diminish the damage, charter school children will still be shortchanged.”
Under the original formula from the 1998 Charter Schools Act, public charter school funding was based on district school funding from two years earlier. Therefore, charter school funding for the 2017-18 school year was based on district school funding from 2015-16. That year saw a historic 9.4% increase in district school funding in New York City under Mayor de Blasio. The result would have been a total of $15,370 in per pupil funding for public charter schools. Mayor de Blasio claimed, however, that allowing children in charter schools to get as much funding as children in district schools would be a “windfall” and lobbied the Assembly to change the formula so that public charter schools would no longer be treated equally. The Assembly therefore deleted the formula and came up with a series of incredibly complex and contrived formulas to avoid giving charter schools the benefit of the 9.4% increase while decreasing public transparency into what they were doing. The law omits the the high and lows from a five year running average of increases in district school spending until 2020-21, at which point the formula changes because this high-low approach is no longer needed — de Blasio’s 9.4% increase would no longer be part of the running average anyway.
The Assembly’s new formula means a loss of $50 million for the charter sector next year, and a cumulative loss of $1.7 billion by 2025-26.