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 205 schools serving 95,000 students—with nearly 43,000 more on waiting lists.
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.
New York has capped the number of charter schools that can open in the state at 460. 302 charters have been issued to date, with 205 of those currently operating in NYC. As per 2015 legislation, only 50 of the remaining charters can be issued in NYC by one of New York’s two authorizers - the State Education Department Board of Regents (Regents) and the SUNY Charter School Institute (SUNY). Our detailed analysis breaks down the charter cap, while our fact sheet answers frequently asked questions about the cap.