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Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008 - 11:20pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for Carl C. Icahn Charter School Far Rockaway


January 11, 2008


Goals 1 and 2







Issue for Decision


Should the Regents approve and issue the proposed charter of the Carl C. Icahn Charter School Far Rockaway as submitted by the Trustees of the State University of New York? 


Reason(s) for Consideration


              Required by New York State Education Law §2852.


Proposed Handling


This question will come before the EMSC Committee for action and then before the full Board for final action in January 2008.


Procedural History


The New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 requires the Board of Regents to review, in accordance with the standards set forth in Education Law §2852(2), proposed charters, renewal charters and revisions to charters and renewal charters that have been approved and submitted by other charter entities.  The Board of Regents may either approve and issue a charter, renewal charter and/or revision as proposed by the charter entity, or return the same to the charter entity for reconsideration with written comments and recommendations. 


Background Information


              We have received a proposed charter from the Trustees of the State University of New York for the establishment of the following charter school.  This will be presented to you at your January 2008 meeting.  The proposed charter is for the following:


  • Carl C. Icahn Charter School Far Rockaway   


             The Carl C. Icahn Charter School Far Rockaway (CCICS) would be located in New York City Community School District 27, in the Far Rockaway section of Queens.  CCICS will initially serve 108 students in grades K-2 and expand to serve 252 students in grades K-6 by the fifth year of the initial charter. Using the Core Knowledge curriculum developed by E.D. Hirsch, the School will provide students with a rigorous academic program offered in an extended day and year setting.  Students will graduate with the skills and knowledge to participate successfully in the most rigorous academic environments, and will have a sense of personal and community responsibility.  The School will follow practices found at two other Carl C. Icahn charter schools.  The School’s institutional partner will be the Foundation for Greater Opportunity.




VOTED:  That the Board of Regents return the proposed charter of the Carl C. Icahn Charter School Far Rockaway to the Trustees of the State University of New York for reconsideration, and with the following comments and recommendations: That the number of Trustees associated with the institutional partner (or any other business or entity) be limited to a maximum of forty per cent of total Board.


Reason for Recommendation


The proposed configuration of the school’s board of trustees (where five of the board’s eight members will be associated with the school’s management partner) raises significant concerns regarding the school’s operation, as well as with its independence and autonomy.   


Timetable for Implementation


The Regents action for the Carl C. Icahn Charter School Far Rockaway is effective immediately.


New York State Education Department


Summary of Proposed Charter School


Summary of Applicant Information



Name of Proposed Charter School:  Carl C. Icahn Charter School Far Rockaway (CCICS or “the School”)


Address:  To be determined


Applicants:  Julie Clark Goodyear and Gail Golden


Anticipated Opening Date:  September 6, 2008


District of Location: New York City Community School District 27, Far Rockaway, NY


Charter Entity:  Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY)


Institutional Partner:  Foundation for a Greater Opportunity


Management Partner(s):  N/A


Grades Served:                      2008-09: K-2

2009-10: K-3

2010-11: K-4

2011-12: K-5

2012-13: K-6.


Projected Enrollment:         2008-09: 108

2009-10: 144

2010-11: 180

2011-12: 216

2012-13: 252


Proposed Charter Highlights




  • Julie Clark Goodyear and Gail Golden are co-applicants.
  • Julie Goodyear is the Executive Director of the Foundation for a Greater Opportunity and the Icahn Scholars Program.  She was the Associate Director of Admissions at Choate Rosemary Hall. 
  • Gail Golden is the Director and Secretary of the Foundation for a Greater Opportunity, and Vice President of Administration of Icahn Associates, Corp.   


Institutional Partner


              The Foundation for a Greater Opportunity is the institutional partner.  Located in New York City, the Executive Director is the co-applicant, Julie Goodyear.  This organization built the first Carl C. Icahn Charter School, including advancing the school start-up costs and the shortfall from the first years’ expenses over revenues.  This relationship will be replicated with the proposed charter school.  A subsidiary of the Foundation for a Greater Opportunity, Greater Opportunity, L.L.C., was created to oversee the building of schools and will serve in that function to build the proposed charter school in Far Rockaway, NY.


Educational Management Partner(s)






  • The design of the School’s educational program is based on the existing Carl C. Icahn Charter School located in the Bronx.
  • Attachment One provides information on the academic performance of the two current Carl C. Icahn Charter Schools.  
  • The School’s curriculum is based on E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge.
  • Jeffrey Litt, principal of the current Carl C. Icahn charter school, has experience training teachers in the implementation of the Core Knowledge curriculum and will provide such training to the new teachers of CCICS.
  • In addition to all New York State assessments, the School will administer CTB McGraw Hill Fox in the Box, Waterford Early Reading Lab and Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. 
  • A Targeted Assistance Program will be developed to assist students on an individual basis in math and literacy.
  • A Pupil Personnel Committee (PPC) will meet monthly to review the needs of at-risk students who will receive appropriate interventions.  The PPC will be comprised of a special education teacher, general education teacher, an administrator and a related service provider.
  • English Language Learner (ELL) services will follow a push-in model.
  • Saturday Academies will be provided for remedial work and state test preparation.
  • Following the belief that parent involvement is a crucial piece of a child’s success, parents will receive a syllabus on a monthly basis.
  • Parents will be encouraged to visit the school, and the principal will have an open door policy for parents.
  • There will be two classes per grade level, each having 18 students.
  • The school day will be 8:30-4:00.
  • The school year will be 193 days. 





  • There will be eight members on the initial Board of Trustees.  One will be a parent.
  • Five Trustees are associated with the partner organization, of which two are also the co-applicants of CCICS.  Signatures have been secured from the Trustees that in the case of a potential conflict of interest, legal counsel will be sought.
  • Each Trustee must possess knowledge and skills in one or more of the following: education; fundraising; finance; law; organizational management; public relations; real estate; politics of educational reform.
  • Board subcommittees will include a Finance Committee and a Grievance Committee.
  • Obligations of the Trustees are: fundraising, overseeing long-term planning, advocating on behalf of the School, overseeing the legal strategy, supervising the principal, public relations, designating a Financial Committee and Grievance Committee.




  • The School will open with 108 students in K-2.  Each grade will have two classes of 18 students.
  • The School will add one grade each year for the next five years.  Final enrollment will be 252 in K-6.
  • There will be no school uniform; however, students will be required to wear a white shirt and dark pants or skirt.
  • Recruitment efforts will target the Far Rockaway section of Queens.
  • Far Rockaway’s character is that of an inner-city, oceanfront district, comparable to Asbury Park, New Jersey.  The population is largely African American, though the westernmost portion is mostly White.  Downtown Far Rockaway has a moderately large Central American population.   




  • In the first year of operation, there will be six classroom teachers, one targeted assistant, one part-time special education teacher, one part-time ELL teacher, two paraprofessionals and three after-school activities specialists.
  • In the first year of operation, the administrative staff will include one principal, one financial manger, one safety officer, one secretary and, if needed, one math and one literature consultant.
  • The initial teaching staff will include one full-time special education teacher who will provide teacher support services.  All related services will be provided by New York State contracted providers.




  • Pre-opening expenses are anticipated at $94,000.
  • Total first year expenses are anticipated at $1,387,480.  Total revenues are anticipated at $1,300,425.
  • The School’s institutional partner will pay the School’s start-up costs and first two years of rent, and will expect repayment in the third and fourth years.  All advances will be made at below-market rates.
  • Services such as payroll, medical insurance, pension and legal will be provided by the Icahn Associates Corporation at no cost to the School.
  • The School will initially maintain a dissolution fund of $25,000 and add $25,000 annually for two years, for a total of $75,000 in the third year.
  • The applicants are in search of a facility in the Far Rockaway section of Queens.
  • The applicants may work with Civic Builders for a facility or partner with New York City’s Department of Education’s School Construction Authority (SCA).  The applicants may tap the expertise of the Icahn Associates Corporation’s real estate division.
  • The potential fiscal impact upon the District is represented below.  These projections are based upon several assumptions, which may or may not occur: that all existing charter schools will also exist in the next five years and serve the same grade levels as they do now; that the charter schools will be able to meet their projected maximum enrollment; that all students will come from New York City and no other districts; that all students will attend everyday for a 1.0 FTE; that the District’s budget will increase at the projected rate; that the per pupil payment will increase (and not decrease); and that the per pupil payment will increase at the projected rate.


Projected Fiscal Impact of the

Carl C. Icahn Charter School-Far Rockaway

(New York City CSD 27 – Queens)

2008-09 Through 2012-13

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact





























* Assumes a 3 percent annual increase in the District’s budget from the base of $20.12 billion in 2007-2008; and a 4.5 percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil per year from the 2007-2008 rate of $11,023.


Public Opinion


  • A public hearing was hosted by the Community Education Council of Community School District 27, New York City Department of Education, on January 9, 2008.  There were no negative comments from the public concerning the opening of the proposed charter school.    


Performance on ELA and Math State Assessments by all

Carl C. Icahn Charter Schools


Percent of Students Scoring At or Above Level 3 on State Exams










Gr. 4


Gr. 4










C Icahn Charter School













C Icahn Bronx North Charter School