On January 3, 2010, the UFT and elected officials held a press conference to release a new report, “Separate and Unequal: The Failure of New York City Charter Schools to Serve the City’s Neediest Students,” and to call for reforms in New York State’s charter school law.
With growing appeals for changes in New York’s charter school law, prominent elected officials joined the United Federation of Teachers today in a call for major reforms which would ensure that charter schools become public schools in the fullest meaning of the term — not private schools supported with public funds.
State Senator John Sampson, leader of the Senate’s majority Democratic Conference, and New York City Comptroller John Liu joined UFT President Michael Mulgrew in this call. State Senators Eric Schneiderman and Toby Stavisky and State Assembly members Michael Benedetto, Alan Maisel, Jose Peralta, Adam Clayton Powell, IV and Linda Rosenthal were present and participating in the call.
Among the proposed changes are:
- a mandate for charter schools to serve the same proportion of the neediest students as the local community district in which they are located;
- a cap on charter management fees and salaries;
- a prohibition of ‘for profit’ management and operation of charter schools;
- full financial and operational transparency for charter schools;
- common sense fixes to a broken charter funding formula;
- independent school leadership teams, as well the rights of charter school educators to union representation and the rights of families to independent parent associations;
- restrictions on the NYC Department of Education’s practice of pitting of district schools against charter schools over space allocations.