A different kind of public school

In comparison to “traditional” public schools, charter schools exchange greater autonomy for greater accountability. Charter schools are independently run public schools authorized by one of three governing bodies under New York State Education Law: local school districts, the State University of New York (SUNY) Charter Schools Institute, or the New York State Board of Regents.

Charter laws differ around the country in the 45 states and the District of Columbia where they exist.

Autonomy & Accountability

As independent school districts, charter schools have the freedom to choose their own staff members, plan unique curricular programs and budgets, and negotiate work rules.

In exchange for that flexibility, charter schools are held to higher performance standards than traditional public schools. In New York State, charters operate under five year contracts (or “charters”) with the authorizer, during which the school must meet exacting metrics each year in order to qualify for renewal at the end of each five year term. Harlem Link was renewed for another 5-years as of March 2023, with a glowing review from The SUNY Charter Schools Institute, which can be found here.

We encourage those interested to learn more about the charter school movement in New York City here!

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