It's been tried before but with no success. Bringing an alternative education school to the City of Utica. Now two groups are trying once again. Tonight's big topic at the only public hearing was the finances of these schools.
Dr. Fehmi Damkaci, Board President of Syracuse Academy of Science says, "The money follows the students, the state aid per student, 67% of that money will come to the charter schools, 33% still stays with the district."
The district says given the financial losses they would close two elementary schools and possible cut 170 staff and that has some speaking out against the schools.
Mark Turnpenny of Utica says, "It's doing too much to hurt the financial fortunes we have in Utica. I think it works in Binghamton and Buffalo and Albany because they don't have the deficit we have."
Others say any jobs lost by the district could be made up with the additional schools.
Dr. Damkaci added, "The thing is even though the school district shows that this many teachers will lose their jobs but at the end if two charter schools open, they will need teachers, so they will hire teachers. So it's not like a loss for the district or for the local economy, most of those teachers would retain in the area."
Larry Custodero, president of the Utica Teachers Association says there is a difference in evaluating charter school teachers.
Custodero says, "It's just not set up fair, they do not have to have to go by the state standards. Now the teachers have to go by the APPR, they don't need to have to do the assessments, they don't have to do any of that and yet they get the money."