New Roots Charter School Needs Further Examination

James L. Seward

January 26, 2009

ONEONTA, 01/23/09 – State Senators James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) and George Winner (R/C/I-Elmira) are calling on the SUNY Charter School Institute to delay action on the application of an Ithaca-based charter school.

In a letter to the SUNY Charter School Institute, Seward and Winner requested officials “place a hold on the application of New Roots Charter School until several important questions that have been raised by the public are fully addressed.”

Seward notes, “Many of my constituents who reside in the Ithaca City School District are already facing high property taxes. If a new charter school receives approval, state funding to the Ithaca City School District will be shifted away placing additional costs on already strapped taxpayers.”

Winner said, “Now is no time to put the Ithaca City School District at financial risk. It’s unfair to students and their families, the teachers and administrators, and the taxpayers. The Ithaca community has raised legitimate concerns about the New Roots Charter School, and I fully agree that we can’t move forward in the absence of full community support and until all of these questions have been fully explored.”

Seward also says he is not convinced sufficient community support for a charter school in Ithaca exists.