I am Pro New Ro

The City School District of New Rochelle Board of Education Unanimously Opposes Charter School

CSDNR leaders have publicly voiced their vehement opposition to a charter school proposed in New Rochelle, saying a charter school would greatly damage our school district and be a disservice to students. To open a charter school, individuals would be required to apply to the State University of New York (SUNY) Charter Schools Institute for review.

There are well-documented concerns about many publicly funded, privately managed charter schools, including their lack of transparency, how they operate outside of many state regulations and oversight, and that they “cherry-pick” the easiest students to educate while dropping students who would bring down their test scores. A charter would also steer taxpayer funds away from public schools and to the charter.

If SUNY approved a charter school application in New Rochelle, it could funnel as much as $7.5 million from our schools, causing districtwide budget cuts involving positions, programs, sports teams, science research, PAVE, and the possibility of higher taxes. Please carefully review the information and statements contained on this page and contact SUNY's Charter Schools Institute Committee to express your opposition to any charter school application in New Rochelle.

School District Leadership Discussion

Superintendent Dr. Corey W. Reynolds

Board of Education President William Iannuzzi

F.U.S.E. President Mary Claire Breslin

Board of Education Meeting December 14, 2023

Sign the PTA Council Petition

In New Rochelle, our diversity is our strength. We are concerned about what a charter school's impact would be on student enrollment and diversity. We stand together as One New Rochelle, committed to providing a fair and equitable educational experience for every student in our community.

We are Pro New Ro, and we stand united for the preservation and support of our public education system.


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SUNY Charters New Application Team:  Charter.newapp@suny.edu

SUNY Charters General Email:  Charters@suny.edu

SUNY Director of New Charters:  Tanya.LewisJones@suny.edu 

Assistant to SUNY Charters Executive Director: christine.adamczak@suny.edu

CSDNR Board of Education boe@nredlearn.org

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more from Superintendent Reynolds

Statement from F.U.S.E. President Mary Claire Breslin

I do not support charter schools because they are, by their nature, parasitic and predatory.

Charters want the public to pick the quick answer. They appeal to our natural fears of making the wrong choice for our kids, and market to our hopes for them. To be savvy consumers, we need to do out due diligence and interrogate some of those features and promises.

First, charter schools are not public schools. They are private contractors that receive taxpayer money to run privately controlled schools through unelected boards that are unaccountable to the public. They offer taxation without representation.

Charter schools harm public schools by creating a parallel school system. When per-pupil monies that otherwise fund librarians, class size, art programs, technology are pulled out and given to charters, public schools are forced to cut services or pay to duplicate them. Charters either gut public schools and/or increase property taxes.

Charters are not more accountable than public schools because they are opaque. They may have financial, personal, or ideological ties that make them accountable to bottom lines we are unaware of.

Charter schools cherry-pick the students that serve them best and remove without recourse accepted students that don't. When accepted students are sent back to public school, they go without their per-pupil monies.

Charters do not get better academic results than public schools. Charter schools are well-documented for cooking their books. A charter may claim a 100% graduation rate after dumping 60% of the incoming class. Research is definitive on this point. Charter schools do no better, and more often do worse, than public schools.

Charters are not required to hire certified teachers. They can hire new graduates who may not even be certified. Some certified by inexperienced teachers may use a charter to gain experience, and then move to public school to be properly compensated.

Charter schools are not good for communities. They do not perform better than public schools, and they are unaccountable to their users. They suck resources from and erode community structures.

There is a reason why New Rochelle triumphs over periods of unrest, why our children grow up and return, why our children's early beginnings in language, STEM, and STEAM grow into our Science Research Program, AP classes, PAVE, Robotics, award-winning athletics, and why this district attracts the kinds of teachers who stay and build these programs. We put value on a healthy community that holds together.

Do your homework on charters and check out the Network for Public Education. And do not forget to follow the money.

Mary Claire Breslin, F.U.S.E. President

Mary Claire Breslin

F.U.S.E. President Mary Claire Breslin

Mary Monzon

PTAC President Mary Monzon

Statement from Parent Teacher Association Council

As members of the PTA Council executive board, we represent the interests of parents within the New Rochelle City School District.  We are here to say that, as a majority, we strongly oppose the creation of the proposed charter school in New Rochelle.  We support the strengthening of our district, expansion of opportunities and excellence in education.  However, this charter school proposal does not meet those goals.

We believe that we should stand behind our schools and especially our teachers while working together to improve and support them, rather than diverting students and resources.  We currently have seven elementary schools, two middle schools, an alternative high school, and a high school, with extraordinary programs, some not available anywhere else in Westchester.  While our classrooms are not currently overcrowded, a charter school will strain the finances and resources of our existing school system. 

Many Charter schools do not have the means to provide services for our special education students. Charter schools have the ability to be selective and remove those students that may have behavioral issues or would not reflect well on their charter. They do not educate ALL students.  They DO NOT admit or retain the most at-risk, vulnerable students, which leads to the false narrative that they are more cost effective than a public school.  Charter schools have the ability to remove any student at any time for any reason, while keeping only those that are high achieving, and have very involved parents.

There is no guarantee that the proposed charter school would create better outcomes for our students. It will, however, draw resources, energy, space, from our public school system. A school that operates outside of the rules and regulations of our publicly elected Board of Education is not in the best interest of the community and will only further divide our community.

With the proper guidance and programming of the duly elected school board, our central and building administration, along with our incredible teachers, all of our public schools have the opportunity to achieve success.

Mary Monzon, PTA Council President

Statement from Administrative and Supervisory Unit

The City School District of New Rochelle's Administrative ad Supervisory Unit is opposed to a charter school in New Rochelle. The New Rochelle community has long invested in and supported our public schools. The strong partnership between the school district and community is rooted in the district's mission, and in our ongoing commitment to provide a high-quality education that is inclusive of all New Rochelle students. The City School District of New Rochelle should be used as an example nationwide of whole child education, where students can access a range of opportunities beyond the classroom, cultivating their interests and talents in the visual and performing arts, clubs, and through athletics. Decision making complies with New York State Education Department regulations, with transparency to constituents and stakeholders.

A charter school has no place in New Rochelle for a myriad of reasons, including, but not limited to, unfair and inequitable educational practices, a lack of transparency and accountability to the public, the diversion of funds from our public schools, the practice of hiring uncertified and/or inexperienced teachers, and most concerning, the discriminatory practices surrounding the selection and retention of students.

If approved, a charter school would negatively impact the educational standards that the City School District of New Rochelle has set and worked diligently to maintain. It is incumbent upon the district, its employees, and its residents to ensure a high-quality educational experience for all students, which is contrary to the way in which charter school operate. The diversion of funding and resources from the City School District of New Rochelle will potentially lead to a decline in programming, for the benefit of students selected to attend the charter school, without transparency for the selection process and fiscal management. Taxpayers have the right to know how funds are being used in the educational process, which is not the case with charter schools. For the charter school being proposed, it is staggering to know that there is the potential that over $7 million would be diverted from new Rochelle's students, which will ultimately have a negative impact on district programming.

Furthermore, as a community and district that values its educators, is committed to their professional growth , and ensures that New York State requirements are met, it is not acceptable that New Rochelle students would be educated by uncertified, inexperienced, unqualified teachers in a charter school that is not bound by requirements or committed to teacher development and retention.

The Administrative and Supervisory Unit is committed to our students and the district, standing together in opposition to a charter school in New Rochelle.

Melissa A. Passarelli, A&S Unit President

Melissa Passarelli

Melissa Passarelli, A&S Unit President