Congressman Jamaal Bowman is an educator. He was principal of a middle school in The Bronx, New York City, serving high-needs students when he ran for Congress. He was re-elected in 2022. He is a strong voice in Congress for public schools,

He issued a press release calling on New York Governor Kathy Hochul to withdraw her budget proposal to increase the number of charter schools in New York City. He knows the damage this will do to the vast majority of students, who are in public schools.

He said:

For Immediate Release
February 3, 2023

NEWS: Rep. Bowman Statement on Governor Hochul’s Budget Decision to Divert Traditional Public School Resources

NEW YORK, NY – Yesterday, Governor Kathy Hochul released her FY2024 budget, which included a proposal to remove the regional cap on charter schools.

Rep. Bowman released the following statement in response:

“As a life-long educator and former middle school principal in the Bronx for over a decade, I witnessed firsthand the value and impact traditional public schools have on children’s lives and learning,” saidCongressman Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (NY-16). “As much as I want to applaud Governor Hochul’s funding of the Foundation Aid initiative, I am extremely disappointed by her proposal to remove the regional cap on charter schools which will dramatically divert critical resources from traditional public schools. With over 1500 public schools in New York City that serve over 1 million students, this effort will be destructive for the learning of our city’s children, especially for the almost 90% of minority children who are currently enrolled in public schools.”

“Let me be very clear. The core of the Foundation Aid was created to help provide more equitable and sustainable educational opportunities for children in our traditional public schools. Increasing the development of more charter schools is not what the Foundation Aid was designed for. District public schools are foundational to a functioning democracy, while charter schools – especially those run by large networks – often perpetuate the very inequities that prevent us from realizing the potential of our democracy.”

“There is a standard of excellence and equity that makes public schools the most viable option for all our children. The qualification and certification standards for teachers are high, ensuring the highest level of educational opportunities for our children. Students engage with a diverse community that reflects the demographics of this country early in their childhood development stages. Accessibility and affordability ensure that parents, caregivers, and families are partners in their child’s learning. From PTA initiatives and parent-teacher conferences to programs that create a true learning partnership with parents, public schools allow for many avenues where parents can purposefully engage in their child’s education.”

“I call on Governor Hochul to keep the charter school cap exactly where it is –which is much higher than it was initially supposed to be.”


About Rep. Jamaal Bowman
Congressman Jamaal Bowman was an educator and advocate for public schools for over 20 years and previously served as principal for the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action (CASA), a public middle school he founded in 2009 in the Baychester neighborhood of The Bronx. Rep. Bowman is a life-long New Yorker who lives in Yonkers with his wife and children.