Down to the wire on charter talks
June 14, 2013
With their schools’ mandates to operate running out in just a matter of days, leaders of 10 charters are deep into negotiations with District officials who are determined, at least for now, to defer plans by the schools to expand.
Citing the budget crisis, Superintendent William Hite last month announced hewould not recommend any charter expansions in the coming year — a setback to the publicized ambitions of 21 charter schools to add more than 15,000 students over the next five years. Such expansion would cost the District $500 million.
The charters of 16 schools were set to expire at the end of June, giving the District some leverage. Although state law bans the District from unilaterally imposing enrollment caps, it allows for joint agreement on the issue. So far, five charter schools have agreed to such caps, and their charters were renewed for five years in April. They are Antonia Pantoja, Christopher Columbus, Eugenio de Hostos, Maritime Academy, and Universal Institute charter schools.
One school’s future is in jeopardy. The School Reform Commission voted in May to begin non-renewal proceedings against Imani Education Circle in Germantown over concerns related to student academic achievement and finances.