Charter Schools Pull from Catholic Schools, Report Says, Increasing Public School Load

9/25/2012 | Facebook | Twitter | Email

The proliferation of charter schools in New York has significantly affected the state’s Catholic schools, leading to closures, enrollment decreases, and precarious finances, according to research by Abraham M. Lackman, a scholar-in-residence at Albany Law School’s Government Law Center.

Last month, the newspaper Education Week previewed Lackman’s scholarship in the article "Catholic Schools Feeling Squeeze From Charters." His full report is scheduled for publication in the upcoming Albany Government Law Review.

His work was also featured in the Albany Times Union.

Considering the broader impact of this trend on New York state, Lackman notes the economic implications of having so many students shift from paying tuition for private education to not paying tuition for public school education. Overall, Catholic school enrollment in the state is down 96,000 students – 35 percent – in the last decade, with little sign of slowing.

As the law school’s Clarence D. Rappleyea Government Scholar in Residence for the past two years, Lackman has also served as guest editor for an issue of the Government Law & Policy Journal on state budget issues; organized and moderated an Anderson breakfast program on education financing; and organized and moderated a debate on public sector unions, the fiscal crisis and lessons from Wisconsin.

Lackman is currently the principal of Praxis Insights, a higher educational and governmental consultancy firm that he founded in 2009. Prior to establishing Praxis, he served as the president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) for seven years. At cIcu, Lackman was responsible for leading and coordinating the state and federal public policy advocacy of more than 100 college presidents of New York state's private, non-profit, independent institutions of higher education.

Before joining cIcu, Lackman served from 1995 to 2002 as the secretary of the New York State Senate Finance Committee and as a special advisor to the Senate's Majority Leader. He served as the budget director of the City of New York in 1994. For 10 years, from 1984 to 1993, he was the Senate Finance Committee's director of fiscal studies.