What We Do


The Charter Schools Institute assists the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) in meeting its responsibilities under the New York State Charter Schools Act of 1998 and in furthering SUNY’s leading role in strengthening public education across the State.


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 Responsibilities

Guided by the Board of Trustees’ rigorous standards, the Institute:

  • Recommends for charter approval only those schools that have a high likelihood of significantly improving student achievement, especially for students at risk of academic failure, and operate in a fiscally and organizationally sound manner;
  • Provides ongoing oversight of progress made by schools in improving student achievement, while also reviewing their organizational and fiscal performance;
  • Informs the public of charter school performance;
  • Protects the health and safety of students;
  • Offers support and guidance to schools as they navigate academic, fiscal, and compliance issues and challenges;
  • Vigorously respects, defends and advocates for each school’s independence and autonomy;
  • Strives to become a nationally recognized repository and disseminator of research, training and best practices for charter schools, public school choice and charter authorizing.

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