Charter schools are public schools open to all students that are created by parents, educators or community leaders and operate under a contract or charter. Like all public schools, students are required to take state tests, and schools must comply with laws regarding health, safety, civil rights and special education.
Each charter school is run by its own board of trustees, responsible for overseeing the school and ensuring its success. As charter schools are not bound by many of the state laws and regulations governing public education, they are free to develop their own curriculum, choose staff, set educational goals, offer a longer school day and school year, and establish their own standards for student behavior.
In return for autonomy over school operations, a charter school must demonstrate it is meeting academic achievement goals it agreed to when originally established in order to continue operating. If the school does not meet those goals or violates law, the charter school may lose its charter, which means it will have no license to operate and would close.
Over 40,000 students attend SUNY authorized charter schools. The combined enrollment of SUNY charter schools is equivalent to the second largest school district in New York State. Nearly 80% of SUNY charter school students are economically disadvantaged.
Search for SUNY charter schools by city, zip code or region with the Find a SUNY Charter School function.
Browse the list of current SUNY Charter Schools and learn more on the School Profile pages.
There is no common application for New York State charter schools; you must apply directly to the school. Most schools take applications beginning in December through April 1, for the following school year, but you should contact any school you are interested in directly for specific information.