Court Voids Rules Letting Charter Schools Certify Teachers
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York court has thrown out new rules that would have let some charter schools certify teachers with less instruction and classroom practice than required by the state.
Acting State Supreme Court Justice Debra Young ruled Tuesday that under New York education law, only the education commissioner and Board of Regents can set teacher certification standards.
The ruling voids an alternative certification process approved by the State University of New York Charter Schools Committee last October. Charter advocates had sought the new rules to help ease staffing shortages at some charter schools, which are funded by public money but usually operated independently of school districts.
Opponents, including teachers unions and Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, said the regulations threatened to undercut the quality of teaching in SUNY-authorized charter schools.
"Every child, regardless of color, economic status or ability, deserves a qualified teacher with meaningful experience to be prepared for the classroom. We are pleased the court agreed," Elia and Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said in a written response to the ruling.
SUNY said it was reviewing the decision. Its charter schools committee authorizes and oversees some of state's charter schools.
"The regulations were intended to address a shortage of teachers in charters, which is part of a nationwide shortage, by using highly trained and educated individuals to teach in the highest performing charter schools," SUNY said in a statement.
The judge wrote that charter schools could require more than the state from the teachers they hire, but not less.