What We Do


To cultivate an environment where strong public schools can take root and thrive.


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 twenty 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.

Institute Values 

  • Trust & Team: The Institute demonstrates honesty, respect, and transparency in all its relationships to instill trust in its decision-making, ethics, leadership, and practices.
  • High Standards: The Institute respects the independence and autonomy of its schools in exchange for high standards of accountability for student academic achievement and holistic development, organizational performance and equitable outcomes for all students.
  • Growth & Innovation: The Institute strives to build upon its knowledge, experience, and wealth of varied perspectives to support development and adoption of new and innovative charter school practices, approaches, and models.
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: The Institute embraces the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion and supports school efforts to increase representation of historically marginalized communities among board members, school leadership, teachers, and staff.

Institute Responsibilities

The Institute, guided by the rigorous Board of Trustees standards:

  • Recommends for approval applications that are highly likely to create charter schools that improve student achievement, especially for students who are at risk of academic failure, and provide educational choice to families in underserved communities;
  • Holds authorized schools accountable for high student achievement, strong organizational practices, and sound finances and fiscal management;
  • Respects school independence and autonomy and creates the space for educational innovation;
  • Supports and prepares schools to navigate complex academic, fiscal, and compliance issues and challenges;
  • Ensures transparency in student outcomes and school organizational performance to enable families and stakeholders to make informed choices; and,
  • Strives to be a national and well-respected leader in charter school practices, resources, and training.

Charter Schools Committee

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the State University of New York.  The Charter Schools Committee is a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees that oversees SUNY authorized charter schools. The Committee approves or denies charter applications, revisions and renewals, administers a statewide charter school grant program, and sets SUNY charter school policies and standards. Committee description.

  • Committee Chair: Joseph W. Belluck
  • Member: Eric Corngold
  • Member: Marcos Crespo
  • Member: Eunice Lewin
  • Member: Edward Spiro
  • Member (ex officio): Dr. Merryl H. Tisch, Chair, SUNY Board of Trustees