Essay Example on Charter Schools: Unique Approaches to Education in NYC

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1803 Words
Date:  2023-01-29


Charter schools are self-governing public schools that hold their basis on Board of Trustees not for profit. Their operations are under a contract of at most five years; hence, the name "charter." To New York City, they are much like their public schools. Despite their funding originating from the public monies, these charter schools have many unique approaches for education, including their freedom, operations, and regulations, thus the stark differences between these and public schools. In evaluating how effective their performances are, the differences are to be considered. Charter schools contribute to the deconstruction, dis-endowment, and for some, they increase the dislike of and advocacy for public schools. To show these disparities, I will research the differences I referenced as well as the evaluation statistics of charter and public schools. I will describe some of the genetic differences between the two while focusing on the specifics of my local charter and public schools.

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Dis-endowment of Public Schools and Funding for Charter Schools

For those parents that choose not to send their kids to either private or public schools, charter schools become an option for them. The Charter schools run independently of the public districts in which they are co-located. The biggest charter financer is the Walton Family Foundation, anti-union- uses both the private and public funds into what appears to be a joint endeavor to privatize community education (Linda). They are not controlled by the districts hence, self-directed. In Hempstead UFSD (my district), only two charter institutions exist and yet funds for the school year 2019-2020 will be a fifth (20%) of the $221 million budgeted for that year, that is, 19 million dollars more than the last school year (2017-2018) (Armstrong). Approximately 400 million dollars are spent on these charter schools and a budget proposal from Congress seeks to increase the amount.

The charter schools rely on the co-located district schools for funding mostly received in-kind and sometimes not in kind. The fiscal reliance on their location district and monies given are merely partly reimbursed. This damages and deconstructs poor schools that are already stressed as reimbursement from the state is usually so minimal. Hempstead, per student, spent approximately $ 18702 and $19452 for the school years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 respectively on tuition, but only $962, which is less than 5% per individual, was repaid (Armstrong). Shameful. Hempstead's district school decisions involve special education offered to students assessed by the district as well as provision and payment for services. The students in the district schools cost much more, hitherto refunding is similar.

Not the Same Standards or Regulations

School Management and Social Life

A more relaxed system of education is offered by charter schools; hence, creating an environment that enables the creation of long-lasting relationships (Armstrong; Ravitch). It is mostly attributed to the small-sized classes. These type of schools offers a setting that equals that of a family where older students mentor the younger ones and can also veer from the curriculum to provide students with social and problem-solving skills as well as online learning -homeschooling. However, public schools offer neither making evaluations biased. Despite charter schools funding from the donations, grants, or awards, they aren't usually enough to cover for infrastructure (Ravitch). Therefore, for their sporting activities, they are forced to rely on their district counterparts. The teachers of New York State Charter schools are employed based on organizational goals (Ravitch). They are not required to be state satisfied compared to the public/district school teachers, who ought to be proficient in their field. A public school teacher is obligated to have at least a bachelor's degree while those in charter schools are neither needed to go through similar job evaluations nor experience the same as a public-school teacher (Armstrong; Ravitch).


The similarity that exists between admissions to public schools or charter schools is that all children are accepted. However, for district schools, this is reliant on the district. It also considers if the schools have open enrollment. Counties having an open enrollment would have let parents choose the schools they'd want to take their children. There is also a transport system, and the parents can send their kids to any charter school whether outside or in the district, provided they can cater to their transport there. Charter schools cannot deny admissions, and though it is prohibited to discriminate based on religion, ethnicity, gender, disability or national origin, they have methods to select, reject or deter students (Winters). Some of the few ways it is done are by having a maximum number of enrollments set, lotteries for school entrance and not tendering particular programs, grades, entrance examinations or services.

Charter schools allow vouchers. More than half of the state individuals may have some public subsidy for private schools and religion (Winters). These voucher schools are not required to follow the laws of civil rights and may rule out learners based on lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gay (LGBT), religion, or disabilities (Winters). However, public schools must accept all and are not illegible to deny admission; hence, the big teacher-student ratios. Besides, the district schools are required to offer all programs and services, plus the grades. Entrance examinations cannot be utilized by the public system and are obligated to accept all individuals regardless of behavior or academics. Charter schools, on the other hand, can, hence, assistance in rejection and selection.

Even though public institutions' capacity may be full, they aren't allowed to turn away students (Winters). Open enrollment for such schools means they are open to admitting individuals even from other districts. When the capacity is exceeded, more teachers are employed to meet the growing demand, and it is a habit that will be kept up as more applications are brought. This is also another reason a rivalry exists between individuals supporting the public system and the individuals backing the charter system. In my opinion, the public system receiving more students should use the funds to cater for the growing numbers and not support another system of education. Averagely, according to National Education Policy Center (NEPC), these charters do not perform better than public schools, except for those with high rates of attrition and control their demographic population to favor groups with high-scores (Winters). The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Schools, otherwise known as charter schools in New York have had impressive academic performance, but students are observed to struggle in the institutions of higher learning (Winters).


The two systems of education are not on even levels as different standards, and an autonomy degree equals a biased evaluation. The fiscal support the public institutions need to offer the charter schools contributes to the increased disabling of districts (Ravitch). How is it that an underperforming and financially crippled district is expected to improve when all its resources, including finances and human resources, are being stripped away? - When more students leave to join charters, the district schools are forced to staff, increase the class sizes, and reduce offerings (Ravitch). One example is the Oakland district, which is at the edge of financial destruction due to the diversion of public funds to charters (Ravitch).

The charters are privately managed and have the mandate to limit student enrollment, leave out students they don't want and accept no novel ones after a particular grade. These Charter schools also may decide to close down the school for a day to take students out to attend a political rally for the financial benefit of the school's management (Ravitch). The education system in America appears to be surfacing into a dual system of schooling; one that operates under the democratic supervision (managed by a board elected by the public or by a people-elected official), and the other managed by the private sector. To create competition and increase performance instead of collaboration, it is not a fair one and unhealthy for democracy.

Flexibility and Rigidity of the Curriculum

With straight faces, some of the media outlets, Governor Cuomo and a few millionaires in New York State are demanding once again for the increase of publicly-funded but privately-run charter institutions (Shawgi). Instead of holding this neoliberal state responsible for the over-testing of learners, these individuals are taking advantage of the low-income class of parents and guardians to make a statement for their selfish reasons to enhance the number of charter schools that close repeatedly.

Charters are often not strictly governed because they are an exemption from following the federal, local, or state laws (Shawgi). They are often referred to as electives due to the type of course offered and tailored specifically to the needs of certain individuals (Shawgi). For example, for individuals who are interested in improving their artistic panache skills, schools for performing art offer a variety of courses meant for that purpose. Public schools, on the other hand, are required to follow regulations disseminated by the school districts that come up with the state laws. It is for this reason that charters have become more business opportunities than education centers. The schools have high teacher, principal, and student turnovers and are highly unstable. The schools are not under any unions, largely support the increase in segregation and avoid lucidity. Hispanic Blacks in East New York were observed to be harshly punished by the white tutors. The benefiting rich are misusing terms like "choice" to misguide vulnerable minority families.

Their presumed flexibility to use online platforms and allow home-schooling and long-distance E-learning have also sometimes closed without warning leaving thousands of students and families hanging out in the frost, feeling betrayed and violated. The appalling path record is mostly with the charter schools operating virtually (Shawgi).


Conceivably, district schools should be reimbursed more or given more autonomy. Because, if a school district holds a higher student capacity who are not proficient English speakers and require special attention, and are also required to offer educational services to individuals who are threats to the safety of the society, they should get more funding. The same charter schools introduced as a form of competition to the public education system is inviting unhealthy competition through the disrespect of democracy and used for business rather than education. Fixing a problem in the district's school system of education requires cohesive, effective, and constant work. Charters are simply Band-Aids used as cover-ups for what is not right. In my view, these public but privatized education institutions form a significant part of what's erroneous in the system of public schools. All these features, though improve academic performance as stated in research, also significantly contribute to the disenfranchisement and deconstruction of public education systems, not only in New York State but also nationwide.

Works Cited

Armstrong, Regina. "Hempstead Union Free School District." Retrieved from (Apr. 2019)

Linda, Ocasio. "Lifting New York City charter cap could cripple public schools." UFT. Retrieved from

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Essay Example on Charter Schools: Unique Approaches to Education in NYC. (2023, Jan 29). Retrieved from

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