ERN New York (ERN-NY) advocates for equitable and evidence-based policy at local and state levels. Currently, the organization is focused on achieving a more diverse representation in New York’s teacher workforce, ensuring students receive customized recovery and resources in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and elevating parent voice. ERN-NY is working to expand understanding and action so that all families may receive equal access to quality education.

2023 Legislative Priorities

School choice in New York is just one way to ensure students are given the opportunity to receive equitable options when deciding their education with their families. We are advocating against arbitrary policies that only further marginalized students from receiving a quality education. At ERN, we are continuously advocating for the opening of the 23 ‘zombie’ schools that have been delayed because of policy implementations against charters and the lifting of the regional charter cap. We staunchly believe every child is entitled to a high-quality public education, from early childhood through postsecondary education and training. The case for public school choice with accountability is truly about equalizing educational opportunities and giving every child — regardless of race, ZIP code, or immigration status —access to a high-quality public education.

All schools, regardless of their affiliation, should have the capacity to obtain a space they can afford and teach their student population. We have partnered with Assembly Member Brian Cunningham, the Equitable Facilities Fund and the NY Charter Schools Association to support a bill that would establish an equity fund prioritizing grants and leverages for charter school leaders of color. Moreover, this fund would be operated by a renowned nonprofit social impact fund, to break down the barriers high-impact public charter schools face when trying to secure affordable, long-term loans. Having access to resources that grow the longevity and sustainability of charter schools led by BIPOC leaders is essential for diversifying the school choice sector and increasing representation.

While it appears graduation rates are on the rise in New York, students are being shortchanged by exemptions from the state exam. The long-term consequences of this could be dire to the workforce, especially for students of color, who will be affected the most due to the lack of preparation for higher education. The NY State Board of Regents has expressed its interest in eliminating these tests, an action we believe will be a disservice to our most disadvantaged communities. We are hoping for NY legislators to assist in exploring alternative measures for the graduation requirement and ensuring all students are held to the same high standards, by implementing a supplemental assessment.

In 2021, our national affiliate, ERN developed a high-impact tutoring (HIT) guidance to support the state-level implementation of HIT programs. The evidence-based guardrails put forth in the guidance, speaks to the improvement of students academic, social and emotional well-being, the local allocation of the funding and increased socio-economic diversity. We urge New York to likewise follow the proposed HIT recommendations to best serve our students as they continue to recover from learning loss exacerbated by the pandemic. It is absolutely essential for our policymakers to identify creative funding opportunities elsewhere to support these highly effective recovery programs.

ERN strives to make sure students are provided the equitable resources to receive higher education and career readiness opportunities throughout their entire educational trajectory. Students of color are deprived of attaining these opportunities due to systemic oppression in college admissions through legacy and binding early-decision admission practices. A priority of ours is to see the passing of the Fair College Admissions Act (Senate Bill 4170) , which will ban these practices statewide.

Across New York State, teacher diversity and the retention of teachers of color is not prioritized as studies show that New York will need over 180,000 more teachers in the next decade. In order to increase diversity and the long-term support of teachers, we are strategically working with Assembly allies to identify and design legislation that will build a more representative teaching force. We are focusing on data accumulation, internal collaboration, and accountability related to this topic to push along various bills reintroduced this session.

A priority in cohesion with education equity is resource equity. We aim to achieve this by increasing equitable access for students of color to high-level courses (AP/IB) and implementing legislation that mandates schools have equivalent offerings across districts. Most recently we released an analysis with our NY Equity Coalition showing a plethora of disparities among historically marginalized students, primarily that Black and brown students have fewer options to access advanced coursework during their post-secondary education compared to their white counterparts.

By the Numbers


Candidates Supported Last Cycle


The max Low-Income Families Now Pay for Broadband Internet Access for Remote Learning

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