School choice in New York

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New York has the sixth highest private school attendance rate in the United States. Other school choice options in the state include charter schools, homeschooling, online learning and voluntary inter-district public school open enrollment.

Educational choice options

See also: Number of schools by school type in the U.S.

Charter schools

See also: Charter schools in New York

Charter schools in New York are publicly funded and open to all students via an admissions lottery. The schools are governed by a nonprofit board of trustees. Unlike state public schools, charter schools can design their own educational programs.[1] During the 2012-2013 school year, New York had 209 charter schools.[2]

Charter school authorizers are, according to the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), the organizations "designated to approve, monitor, renew, and, if necessary, close charter schools." As of June 2014, the organizations in the following table were listed by NACSA as charter school authorizers in New York:[3]

New York charter school authorizers
Organization Authorizer type Number of schools overseen
Buffalo Public Schools Local education agency 2
New York City Chancellor's Office Local education agency 69
New York State Education Department State education agency 45
State University of New York Charter Schools Institute Higher education institution 102
Note: If the total number of charter schools accounted for in this table differs from the total number listed elsewhere on this page, the discrepancy owes to differing calculation methods and data sources.
Source: National Association of Charter School Authorizers, "New York Charter Authorizers," accessed June 18, 2014

Magnet schools

See also: Number of schools by school type in the U.S.

Magnet schools, sometimes called theme-based schools, are public schools of choice that use a specialized subject area or innovative learning approach to attract students from more diverse backgrounds. In fact, magnet schools began as a way to desegregate public schools through choice rather than force. Magnet schools can reach beyond the barriers of school districts, but they are still managed and funded publicly by local districts, even though they are centered around specialized themes and subjects.[4][5]

According to the education website, referred to hereafter as PSR, New York had about 115 magnet schools serving 74,514 students as of December 2014. The PSR site does not cite the date this data was taken from or the agency from which it was obtained. The National Center for Education Statistics, the national organization that was used to corroborate the data from other states, explains that New York did not meet reporting standards and left out at least 20 percent of schools and students in the state.[6][7]


An estimated 82,588 students were home-schooled in New York during the 2012-2013 school year, which represented approximately 2.67 percent of all students in the state.[8]

In order to homeschool their children in New York, parents and guardians must file written notice to the superintendent of schools in their school district by July 1 every year the children will be educated at home. The school district will then send the parents an individualized home instruction plan (IHIP) form for each child that will be taught at home. The parents must then send the completed forms back to the school district within four weeks. The IHIP form must contain the child's name, age and grade level, a syllabus, a list of curriculum materials, the names of individuals providing instruction and a statement that the child will be meeting compulsory educational requirements.[9]

Online learning

In New York, full-time online schools are prohibited by law. Though there are no fully online schools in the state, students do have online and blended learning options through the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and through some district-developed programs.[10]

Private Schools

In the 2011-2012 school year 408,520 students, or 15.12 percent of school age children, were enrolled in 1,725 private schools. New York ranks sixth highest in the United States in private school attendance.[11]

Public school open enrollment

New York has a voluntary inter-district public school open enrollment policy.[12]

Education ballot measures

See also: School choice on the ballot and List of New York ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked no statewide ballot measures relating to school choice in New York.

Recent news

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York+education+choice&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss New York Education News Feed

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