RELEASE: Leaders of City’s Charter Networks Join Parents to Call On de Blasio Administration to Support 50 New Charter Schools in Public Space Over Next Two Years

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE** OCTOBER 13, 2016

Leaders of City’s Charter Networks Join Parents to Call On de Blasio Administration to Support 50 New Charter Schools in Public Space Over Next Two Years

CEOs and Representatives of Achievement First, Uncommon Schools, KIPP, Public Prep, and Coney Island Prep Call on City Hall to Give Public Charters Fair Access to Public Facilities

NYC’s High-Performing Public Charter Sector is Working to Open 50 New Schools Over Next Two Years and Double in Size to Serve 200,000 Students by 2020 to Meet Overwhelming Parent Demand

New York, NY – This morning, CEOs and representatives of the city’s leading charter networks – Achievement First, Uncommon Schools, KIPP, Public Prep, and Coney Island Prep – joined dozens of parents to call on the de Blasio administration to give public charter schools equal access to public space — starting with facilities for 50 new or expanding schools planned for the next two years. Standing on the steps of City Hall, speakers called on city leaders to support public charters as they work to double in size to serve 200,000 students, ensuring that every family still looking for a high-quality school can, in fact, attend one.

This year, New York City’s public charter schools will educate over 100,000 students for the first time, yet there are still 43,000 children stuck on charter school waitlists. Leading charter networks and independent charter schools are working to meet this demand by opening more than 50 new schools over the next two years and reaching 200,000 students by 2020, and are calling on elected officials to let them access a portion of the 150,000 empty classroom seats located in public facilities across the city.

The Coalition for Education Equality, which is comprised of charter schools that educate over 40,000 students, delivered this message to Mayor de Blasio in June in an open letter, and has since met with members of the administration. The Coalition is waiting to see if this engagement will translate into real results. Leaders of the city’s most prominent charter networks are making it clear that they will do whatever it takes to ensure every child can attend a high-quality school.

“The sad reality is far too many families still do not have access to a high-quality public school. Public charter schools stand poised to meet this need, but one key obstacle remains in our way: access to public school space,” said Dacia Toll, Co-CEO of Achievement First. “We call on the city to respond to parent demand and help us provide 200,000 children with the world-class education they want, need and deserve.”

“As the public charter sector works to double in size, we’re calling on Mayor de Blasio and the DOE to ensure more high quality public charter schools can open to meet parent demand,” said Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Preparatory Network. “All children should have access to great schools, and all public schools should have fair access to available space.”

In September, a new analysis called “The Path to Possible” highlighted the transformative impact that public charter schools have had for New York City’s highest-need children. The report revealed that Black and Hispanic charter school students in the eight communities with the lowest-performing district schools have improved by 19 percentage points in reading and math since 2013, showing three times as much growth as their district school peers and besting the citywide average by 10 percentage points. Doubling the public charter sector to serve 200,000 students would close the achievement gap in these neighborhoods.

Last month, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Bronx Borough President Borough Ruben Diaz Jr. and civil rights activist Common joined thousands of parents, teachers, and students at the #PathtoPossible march in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to support this vision and call on city leaders to stand with high-performing public charter schools.
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