Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Enrollment in charter schools in New York continues to rise as tens of thousands of students flee the city’s traditional public schools, newly released figures reveal.

Charter schools saw an overall enrollment jump of 1.3 percent this school year and by 9 percent in total over the past two years despite the coronavirus pandemic, the NYC Charter School Center reports.

In total, 1 in 4 black students across the five districts now go to one of the city’s 272 charter schools – including 2 out of every 5 black students in class K-1.

Meanwhile, enrollment has dropped at the city’s traditional elementary schools.

State Education Department preliminary data show enrollment dropped 5 percent at city public schools this school year and a combined 9 percent over the past two years.

Even the city’s education ministry’s own figures say the school district’s enrollment has dropped by 6.6 percent over the past two years – 1.9 percent for the current school year and 4.7 percent last school year.

Kipps Star College Prep Charter School from the outside.
The NYC Charter School Center found that overall enrollment in charter schools increased 1.3 percent this school year.
Daniel Shapiro

The number of enrolled students dropped from 1 million students in the 2019-20 school year to 938,000 this year – a loss of 62,000 students.

All schools had to contend with closures, low attendance and distance learning during the worst COVID-19 outbreaks.

Some of the increase in charter school enrollment can be attributed to planned extensions of grades for existing schools.

The Achievement First Bushwick Charter School.
Data showed that 1 in 4 black students now attend one of NYC’s charter schools.
Paul Martinka

But enrollment would have increased even more if a ceiling imposed by the state legislature did not block the opening of more schools, charter advocates said.

“Despite a ceiling on the creation of charter schools in New York City and the historic challenges of the past two years, the city’s public charter continued to grow during the pandemic – by 9 percent,” said James Merriman, CEO of New York City. Charter center.

“Our growth is a direct result of the incredible work of our teachers, staff and school leaders across 272 schools to provide a high quality education to the students who make up our diverse and vibrant public charter community, and to give families a choice to find the school that is best for their child. ”

One education researcher said limiting charter school growth as an option is likely to force families to leave the city for better educational opportunities elsewhere.

“Attribution in the city’s public schools has dropped so much,” said Ray Domanico, director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute and a former researcher in the city’s public school system. “I wonder if the city is losing families.”

South Bronx Classical Charter School
Despite the ceiling imposed on the establishment of charter schools, the charters have seen a 9 per cent rise in enrollment since the start of the pandemic.
Thomas E. Gaston

Domanico said Mayor Eric Adams could keep more families in the city by expanding charter schools in public school facilities, among other innovations.

“You would have seen greater growth in charter school enrollment if you did not have the ceiling,” he said.


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