Legal Compliance
A collection of resources for SUNY authorized charter schools to ensure compliance with all Federal and State law, rules, and regulations.
Annual Report

The Annual Report is required by statute and governed by regulations promulgated by the State Education Department. Guidance is available through the New York State Education Department.

Application and Admissions Materials, Guides and Templates

Admissions processes for SUNY authorized charter schools must meet legal requirements of an open, non-discriminatory process.

Board Governance

This guidance provides an overview of certain components of board governance and the key documents and policies a SUNY charter school’s board will be required to adopt and abide by.

Charter Agreement

model of the standard SUNY charter agreement.

Child Abuse Reporting

This guidance document provides an overview of school employees’ obligations as to reporting suspected child abuse and maltreatment in and out of an educational setting.

Closure Plan

Sample SUNY closure plan, which the Institute will supply in the event of a closure.

Complaint Policy

The charter agreement for all SUNY authorized charter schools requires that the school board of trustees must implement a policy to receive and handle any complaints. This Complaints and the Charter Schools Act document provides guidance to schools for how to develop a complaint policy.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Two federal laws govern the confidentiality of students’ educational records: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Both FERPA and IDEA apply to charter schools and district public schools. FERPA covers all education records of students enrolled in a charter school and the confidentiality provisions of IDEA apply to a subset of education records of students with disabilities.

Criminal Background Checks and Fingerprinting

Charter school education corporations have an ongoing obligation to clear all employees prior to employment by means of a fingerprint-supported criminal background check through the New York State Education Department’s Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability including janitors, security personnel and cafeteria workers who are present when children are in the school building.


Guidance on the procedures regarding new, changing or expanding facilities.

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)

The New York State Charter Schools Act and the charters of SUNY authorized charter schools require schools to comply with the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and New York Open Meetings Law.

Merging Education Corporations

Amendments to the New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 (as amended, the “Act”) in 2010, permit charter school education corporations to operate more than one charter school. Two or more existing education corporations may elect to merge into one education corporation with the authority to operate multiple charter schools pursuant to New York Education Law §§ 2852(7) and 2853(1)(b-1), and Article 9 of the New York Not-For Profit Corporation Law. Merger can benefit the schools involved by allowing common governance, common oversight, common financial accounting, shared educational programming and resources, and improved student access to the schools under the education corporation.

The following guidance discusses the documents and procedures necessary to prepare for merger of education corporations, the documents required and guidance as to operations after merger has become effective.

Open Meetings Law

The New York State Charter Schools Act and the charters of SUNY authorized charter schools require schools to comply with the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and New York Open Meetings Law.

Violent or Disruptive Incident Reporting Updates