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Audits that New York charter schools file with their authorizers show the charter industry held $282.3 million in cash and $392.1 million in unrestricted net assets at the close of fiscal 2013.
More than 80 percent of the state’s charter schools held, on a percentage basis, cash in excess of the 4 percent that traditional school districts are permitted to keep in reserve. The nearly 200 charters studied had, on average, 25.3 percent of their annual budgets in cash reserves — more than six times what regular public schools are permitted to hold.
Cash held by New York charter schools grew by nearly $62 million from 2012 to 2013. Unrestricted net assets — which can be used to fund programs or pay rent — grew by $93.6 million, climbing to $392.1 million in 2013 from $298.5 million in 2012.