Charter schools head to court to call for more NYS funding

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Charter schools face a threat to their future. They say their job to educate is made more difficult by state funding that’s just a fraction of what New York is giving to public school students.

To change that, five charter school families in buffalo and Rochester filed suit last fall in state Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case were heard today before Justice Donna Siwek.

When students choose charter schools over public schools, their per pupil funding doesn’t go with them. It stays with public schools.

That’s unconstitutional, according to attorneys of this class action lawsuit and charter school educators.

Those educators say they’re barely making ends meet now. And the money should follow the student.

Jeff Halsdorfer, school leader at Eugenio Maria De Hostos Charter School in Rochester, said there’s one reason to give charter schools more funding, and that’s children.

“It would certainly help to support our needs and drive our instructional goals a lot better than we are right now. Are we functioning? Barely.  Could we have could we have tremendous success with adequate funding? I think that would make our lives a lot easier. It would take a lot of stress off the children and the adults and it’s what they deserve. It should follow them.”

It could be months before Justice Siwek issues her written decision. And whatever is decided will in all likelihood be appealed either way. So this fight is years in the making. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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