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Charter Schools In New York City

WHAT IS A CHARTER SCHOOL?

A charter school is an independently run public school. Unlike community schools, which are run by elected community superintendents, a nonprofit Board of Trustees governs the decisions a charter school can make with the public funding it receives. As a result, charter schools have the freedom to establish their own policies, design their own educational program, and manage their human and financial resources.

A charter school can be part of a network of schools under the same governing board like Uncommon Schools or KIPP Schools, which have many campuses throughout the United States or it can be a standalone school at only one location.

The first charter school in New York City opened its doors in Harlem in 1999. Today, there are about 216 schools educating nearly 8% of the city’s public school children.

IS A CHARTER SCHOOL A PUBLIC SCHOOL?

Yes, charter schools are public schools that operate with more independence than traditional public schools or community schools, but like traditional public schools, receive funding from the federal government to provide free public education to the community.

WHO CAN APPLY? HOW DO I APPLY?

Anyone eligible for a public school can apply to a New York City charter school. Charter law in New York states that the deadline to apply for a charter school cannot be earlier than April 1. Some charters may have a later deadline. Each school has its own application form, but many use the NYC Charter School Center’s Common Application.

If you miss the charter school’s deadline, you can still apply, but your child will be placed at the bottom of the waitlist. For information about a specific charter school and its enrollment deadline, contact the school directly.

HOW DOES THE CHARTER SCHOOL LOTTERY WORK?

If the number of students who apply to a charter school is more than the number of available seats, schools will use a random selection process, such as a lottery.

Charter schools give enrollment preferences to returning students, siblings of students already enrolled, and students living in the same community school district as the school.

Charter schools may also give preferences to the following groups: English Language Learners, students with disabilities, students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and single-sex charter schools are allowed.

CATEGORY
Learning and School, Navigating NYC schools and applications
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