Education in New York

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The University of the State of New York (USNY) (distinct from the State University of New York, known as SUNY), its policy-setting Board of Regents, and its administrative arm, the New York State Education Department, oversee all public primary, middle-level, and secondary education in the state. The New York City Department of Education, which manages the public school system in New York City, is the largest school district in the United States, with more students than the combined population of eight U.S. states. Over 1 million students are taught in more than 1,200 separate schools.

Primary and secondary schools

Public secondary education consists of high schools that teach elective courses in trades, languages, and liberal arts with tracks for gifted, college-bound and industrial arts students. New York is one of seven states that mandate the teaching of Holocaust and genocide studies at some point in elementary or secondary school curricula.

One of the major public policy issues in recent decades has been the attempt by poorer communities to get more state funding to compensate for what they cannot generate in property taxes. The reliance of most communities on local property taxes to support schools has created the paradoxical situation of residents in wealthier communities paying a lower tax rate than residents in communities of lower average income.

While state law has required integrated schools since 1900 (overturning an 1894 law that permitted communities to establish separate schools for children of African-American descent[1]), patterns of residential segregation in many areas has often led to de facto segregated schools. As studies have shown the importance of integrating children from different economic classes, more than ethnic groups, communities are devising different methods, such as magnet schools, to deal with attracting diverse groups of students.

Charter schools

As of 2013, there were 183 charter schools serving 70,000 students in the state.


Between 2000 and 2009, school enrollment declined by 121,000 students, and the number of teachers increased by 15,000. The student:teacher ratio was the eighth lowest in the country, 13:1. At $16,000, its per student spending was the nation's highest.[2]

Colleges and universities

The SUNY System

Academic Complex at Binghamton University

New York's statewide public university system is the State University of New York (SUNY), which includes top-ranked schools such as Binghamton University, Stony Brook University, and University at Buffalo. With a total enrollment of 459,550 students and 1.1 million continuing education students spanning 64 campuses across the state, SUNY is the largest comprehensive public university system in the United States. The campuses are a mix of community colleges, technical colleges, undergraduate colleges, and doctoral-granting institutions, with the latter including the four university centers (University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, and Stony Brook University).

The SUNY system includes the following campuses, broken down into the categories of University Centers, other doctoral-granting institutions including five statutory institutions, Comprehensive Colleges, Technology Colleges, and Community Colleges.

Doctoral-Granting Institutions

University Centers

Other doctoral-granting institutions and statutory colleges

One statutory college at Alfred University:

Four statutory colleges at Cornell University (which are legally and technically part of Cornell):

Comprehensive Colleges

Technology Colleges

Community Colleges

The CUNY System

The City University of New York (CUNY) is the public university system of New York City and is independent of the SUNY system. It is the largest urban university in the United States, with 11 senior colleges, 6 community colleges, a doctorate-granting graduate school, a journalism school, a law school and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. More than 450,000 degree-credit, adult, continuing and professional education students are enrolled at campuses located in all five New York City boroughs.

Butler Library at Columbia University in New York City, the wealthiest university in the state of New York.

CUNY consists of the following 21 colleges, including the senior colleges, community colleges, graduate and professional institutions.

Senior Colleges

Community Colleges

Graduate and professional schools

Private universities

New York has hundreds of private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions. The state's land-grant university is Cornell University; though primarily a private institution, it has public sectors.

Two of the nation's five Federal Service Academies are located in New York: the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

New York attracts the most college students from other states, according to statistics that show that among freshmen who leave their home states to attend college, more come to New York than any other state, including California.[3]

In total, New York State has 307 degree-granting institutions, second in number only to California. Among the most notable and highest ranked institutions are:


See also


  1. Martha A. Sandweiss, Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line, New York: Penguin Press, 2009, pp. 213
  2. Will, George F. (6 June 2010). "Column:the teacher bailout". Washington, DC: Washington Post. pp. A15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "New York, College Town.", The New York Observer