Charter Schools Institute

The Charter Schools Act of 1998 grants the State University of New York Board of Trustees authorizing power to grant 230 charters for the purpose of organizing and operating independent and autonomous public charter schools.

The Charter Schools Institute was created by the Board of Trustees in 1999 to assist them in carrying out their responsibilities under the Act. 


The Institute is charged with evaluating initial applications for the opening of charter schools, ongoing monitoring of student academic performance and overall school operations, and for presenting findings and recommendations regarding the renewal of a school’s charter to the State University Trustees.

Striking that delicate, difficult and seemingly always changing balance between giving schools autonomy and providing responsible oversight, and between treating schools as independent institutions while still assuring accountability, is the hard work that the Board of Trustees has committed to, and the foundation of the work of the Charter Schools Institute.

The Institute is committed to the creation and operation of highly successful charter schools throughout New York State.

      See the Institute's Portfolio for a complete list of operating schools.

                           View the Institute's informational video.




SUNY's Charter Schools Institute has again been recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDOE) as a national exemplar of innovation and excellence. In May 2010, the USDOE released a series of documents outlining the "Research Behind the Obama Administration’s Proposal for Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)." Its document, entitled Fostering Innovation and Excellence, features SUNY's processes for review of new charter school applications, ongoing oversight and evaluation, and charter renewal and also notes SUNY’s willingness to hold schools accountable and close underperforming schools.