Education in New York

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), 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.

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.

Colleges and universities
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, SUNY Geneseo, and SUNY New Paltz. With a total enrollment of 413,000 students and 1.1 million continuing education students spanning 64 campuses across the state, SUNY is the largest public university system in the United States. The campuses are a mix of Community Colleges, Technical Colleges, Undergraduate Colleges and the four university centers (University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo and SUNY Stony Brook). Both Binghamton University and SUNY Geneseo are consistently ranked as the top two best values in education in the nation. Additionally, Binghamton University is recognized as the "Premier Public University in the Northeast," according to the Fisk Guide, and is listed on Greene's Guide as a "Public Ivy'.

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.

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.

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:
    Bard College
    Clarkson University
    Canisius College
    Colgate University
    Columbia University
    Cooper Union
    Cornell University
    Dominican College
    Fordham University
    Hamilton College
    Hobart and William Smith Colleges
    Hofstra University
    Hudson Valley Community College
    Ithaca College
    Manhattanville College
    Marist College
    New York University
    Pace University
    Polytechnic Institute of NYU
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
    Rockland Community College
    Sarah Lawrence College
    Skidmore College
    St. John's University
    St. Lawrence University
    Syracuse University
    Union College
    University of Rochester
    Vassar College