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Charter School Advocates Call for Equal Funding

Feb 23, 2016

Advocates gather at the Rochester Academy Charter School
Credit Alex Crichton

For every dollar spent on a Rochester City School student to be educated, a Rochester Charter School Student only gets 68 cents, and that's not fair.

That's according to Advocacy Manager with the Northeast Charter Schools Network, Duncan Kirkwood, whose group supports a lawsuit filed against the state over the way New York funds charter schools.

Parents, students and charter school advocates gathered at the Rochester Academy Charter School to not only call for equal funding, but to register voters so they can contact their lawmakers.

Kirkwood says as a parent, one of his daughters is getting short-changed.

"I chose a charter school for one of my daughters, and a traditional school for one of my other daughters, because that's what's best for them.  And I deserve to have that choice. I shouldn't be punished my child shouldn't be punished because we made a choose that this school is the best fit for them."

Critics argue the achievement levels at charter schools are about the same as traditional public schools, but Kirkwood says most charter schools are outperforming the district averages in Rochester.

He adds the argument that charter schools drain resources from district public schools is a myth.

Here's Dr. Donna Marie Cozine of the Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts making the case for equal funding from the state: