NYSUT claims charters have too much cash

Mar 27, 2017

The state's largest teacher union is crying foul over potentially more state funding for charter schools.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the union claims charter schools are "flush" with cash and do not need more public dollars. 

“Here we have a state senate budget that’s a giveaway to charters and one that destabilizes public schools, which is what Betsy DeVos is doing on a federal level,” said Carl Korn, spokesperson for New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). 

Korn said NYSUT is outraged and strongly opposed to a charter school package in a state senate one-house budget bill.    

Charter schools students in Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

“First of all the senate republicans would send roughly $350-million in new money to charter schools and that’s money that should be spent on regular neighbor public schools, which are accountable to the public, are transparent in their operations and serve all students,” Korn explained.

Korn tells WBFO News NYSUT conducted its own analysis of financial holdings of charter school in the state. It found that charters have plenty of funding in reserve and he said they don't deserve more state cash.

“In Western New York and Buffalo charter schools have over $41-million in cash, stockpiled, sitting under the mattress that could be used to help students and offer teachers professional development,” Korn remarked.

“The charter schools are not controlled by this union model of monopolizing education and that’s where a lot of people have issues,” responded Duncan Kirkwook with the Northeast Charter Schools Network.

“The charter schools give opportunities to low-income, working class families as well to move their child to a higher quality to school and that we have to some reason fight for the right of parents to put their child into a high quality school,” Kirkwood stated.