SUNY Releases 2024 RFP for New Charter Schools in New York State
(Albany, New York) – The State University of New York (SUNY) Charter Schools Institute (“the Institute”), on behalf of the SUNY Board of Trustees, today announced the release of the 2024 Request for Proposals for applicants seeking to establish new charter schools in New York State. The Institute intends to hold two review cycles – one round beginning today for applicants seeking to establish charter schools in New York City (NYC) and a second round in the Spring for applicants seeking to establish schools outside NYC.
In April 2023, the legislature allowed for 14 charters to be granted within NYC, reusing the charters previously granted to schools that were closed or never opened. Following the change in state law, the SUNY Trustees, upon recommendation from the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, approved five updated applications in October for new charter schools seeking to open in NYC. Each of the five was previously approved in March 2019, however, there was an insufficient number of charters available to award at that time. As a result, there are currently nine charters available to be granted within the five boroughs (and 92 charters outside of NYC). The deadline for NYC-based applicants to submit their final proposal is February 8, 2024.
“Judging by the amount of interest we have received so far from potential applicants, this will be a highly competitive process,” said SUNY Trustee Joseph Belluck, Chair, Charter Schools Committee. “That’s good news for families throughout New York City seeking stronger educational options for their children. We thank Governor Hochul for her leadership and commitment to working with the Legislature last spring to make this second New York City round possible.”
Applicant proposals will be evaluated – and receive a preference score – based on set criteria, including community need and outreach, district relations and partnerships, curriculum and instruction, high quality assessment, the ability to serve special populations, school leadership, organizational capacity, fiscal soundness, and more. Some applicants, including those who are seeking to replicate an existing charter or partner with an outside organization for supports, will be required to submit a Strategic Growth Plan and/or Business Plan. Per SUNY’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the SUNY Trustees will continue to support schools designed to increase equity and diversity in proposed charter school founding board of trustee members, founding teams, teachers, and staff from historically underrepresented communities.
An established record of high academic achievement among SUNY-authorized charter schools affirms recognition of SUNY’s authorizing work and its nationally recognized application process. SUNY-authorized charter schools are among the highest performing public schools in New York State. In 2021-22, the most recently available year with statewide testing data, 80% of SUNY schools outperformed their local district in math and 81% in English Language Arts (ELA). Additionally, 41 SUNY schools scored in the top 10% of public schools statewide in math and 32 schools in ELA. Economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and English language learners at SUNY schools also all posted average proficiency rates in ELA and mathematics that surpassed their statewide peers. Remarkably, through the years, 17 SUNY charter schools have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools.
SUNY Charter Schools Institute
The passage of the Charter Schools Act of 1998 granted the State University of New York (“SUNY”) the authority to grant charters for the purpose of organizing and operating public charter schools independent and autonomous of existing district schools. In 1999, the Board of Trustees at SUNY created the Charter Schools Institute to assist them in carrying out these responsibilities. For more than 20 years, the Institute’s oversight has served as a catalyst for charter school improvement and furthered SUNY’s leading role in strengthening public education across the State.