Legislation Would Penalize Some Charters

Leslie Brody & Mike Vilensky:

Advocates for New York City charter schools expressed outrage Monday that the state Assembly’s proposed budget aims to toughen laws requiring charters to serve sufficient numbers of hard-to-teach students.

The United Federation of Teachers said in January that pushing “anti-creaming” legislation was a priority. The budget bill released over the weekend by the Democrat-led Assembly, long allied with labor, includes harsher penalties for charters that don’t enroll and retain the same share of students who are poor, disabled or English language learners as their community.

For example, the bill says that if one site of a charter network falls short of an enrollment target, the entire network can’t open new locations until it hits its goal.

The bill also says that if a charter misses a demographic target, it must keep slots open for students in that underserved category. Charter backers say that requirement would make charters lose per-pupil funding and deny slots to needy students.