The union war on charter schools never ends, and the latest trick in New York is to limit who can authorize a charter. A bill by Democratic Sen. John Liu would give the state Board of Regents veto power over all charter applications, including those approved by the state’s largest licensing body, the University of New York State.
The New York State Charter Schools Act of 1998 gave SUNY and the Board of Regents authority to approve charter applications. Some 60% of the state’s 358 charter schools have been licensed by SUNY, most of which are owned by the highly successful Success Academy and KIPP. With trustees appointed by the governor, SUNY is freer from the influence of teachers’ unions than the regents, whose members are appointed by the state legislature and oversee the state’s Department of Education.