It's about great public schools.

Growth + Demand

Public charter schools would not exist, let alone grow and thrive, without demand from families seeking high-quality public school choices. Since New York City’s first charter school opened in 1999, this educational option has grown to encompass 236 schools serving 114,000 students—with nearly 52,700 more on waiting lists.

114,000
NYC charter schools are educating more
students than the school district in Boston.

1 in 2
kindergarten students
in Harlem attends a charter school.

1 in 10
students citywide attend a charter school in the
2017-18 school year.

Parent demand for New York City charter schools reaches an all-time high! Demand increased by nine percent for the 2018-19 school year. There were an estimated 79,600 applicants for the approximately 26,900 seats available in the anticipated 238 NYC charter schools operating this fall. Nine in ten charter schools report having waiting lists that are at least twice the number of available seats.

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NYC CHARTER SECTOR CONTINUES GROWING

New York has capped the number of charter schools that can open in the state at 460 of which 355 have been awarded. In addition, the 2015 state legislature revived a sub-set of 22 previously revoked charters – which can be issued anywhere in the state by either of the two authorizers. This leaves a total of 117 available statewide.

Currently, the charter school sub-cap for NYC stands at 50 after a 2015 legislative increase; following the first round of authorizing in 2018, only 6 charters remain. These 6 in addition to the 22 previously revoked subset leaves the potential for only 28 new charters to be issued in NYC. Our detailed analysis breaks down the charter cap, while our fact sheet answers frequently asked questions about the cap.


Resources

2017-18 Enrollment Lottery Estimates

Parent demand for New York City charter schools increased by seven percent for the 2017-18 school year! There were an estimated 73,000 applicants for the nearly 25,200 seats available in the 227 charter schools that will be operating this fall. This leaves nearly 48,000 students on waitlists citywide.

Neighborhoods Primed for Charter School Growth: Report

Given the critical needs of many NYC students, particularly those in underserved communities, the Charter Center analyzed district school performance, charter demand, and Census data that identified four neighborhoods in the Bronx and Queens that would particularly benefit from the immediate growth of high quality charter schools.

Charter School Enrollment Doubles In Last 4 Years!

This report shows charter schools are an increasingly significant and growing component in NYC's public education system. In fact, one in three students in Harlem, the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn now attend charter schools and enrollment in charters has doubled over the past four years.

2015-16 Enrollment Lottery Estimates

Out of 207 charter schools operating in 2015-16, 193 (93%) responded to the NYC Charter School Center’s survey about their lottery application rates.

2014-15 Enrollment Lottery Estimates

With only 21,000 charter seats for the 2014-15 school year, there was a citywide charter school “waiting list” of an estimated 49,700.

Waiting for Their Chance

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools examines conditions in 10 urban districts that have large waitlists for their public charter schools, including New York City.

Growth & Demand Fact Sheet

This fact sheet illustrates the growth in the number of charters schools beginning in 2007, with projections up to 2020.

Lottery Process Fact Sheet

Due to the high demand from parents, charter schools receive many more applications than they have seats available. Charters then fill their seats by a random lottery.

Cap Fact Sheet

In NYC, 28 total potential charters are available to be issued in the future, by either the Regents or the SUNY Trustees.

2013-14 Enrollment Lottery Estimates

2012-13 Enrollment Lottery Estimates