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NYC CHARTER SCHOOL CENTER STATEMENT ON COURT OF APPEALS UNIVERSAL PRE-K DECISION

For Immediate Release: November 20, 2018
Contact:Abdul Sada - asada@skdknick.com

NYC CHARTER SCHOOL CENTER STATEMENT ON COURT OF APPEALS UNIVERSAL PRE-K DECISION

(NEW YORK) – James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter Center, today released the following statement on the New York State Court of Appeal’s decision to strike down New York City Department of Education’s (DOE) overregulation of pre-kindergarten programs run by public charter schools.

“The court found that DOE overreached its statutory authority by requiring charter schools to adhere to a hyper-detailed, one-size-fits all contract in order to provide UPK programs. Now NYC charter schools committed to providing high quality UPK will be able to do so without undue interference and yet with proper and appropriate oversight from their authorizers. The Charter Center has supported this lawsuit since the beginning and is gratified that New York’s highest court has upheld the legislature’s clear intent. This is a win for students.”

The Charter Center filed a joint friend of the court briefing in the case, DeVera v. Elia, in which Success Academy challenged the legality of DOE enforcing a contract on charters operating pre-k programs in NYC. The ruling means charters offering pre-k programs will now be monitored by their authorizer, who will ensure that the schools' Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) programs are high-quality and meet all the legal requirements of the UPK statute.

In a 5-2 decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Appellate Division’s unanimous decision that the UPK statute provides charter authorizers, not the DOE, with the full authority to oversee charters’ UPK programming and operations. While the Court found that DOE had the ability to inspect the program, the Court was clear that this does not translate to oversight authority.

For additional information on the New York City Charter School Center, please visit www.nyccharterschools.org.

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