THE BRONX - As the city prepares to open 18 more charter schools this year, some argue the public school system is getting the short end of the stick.

Education officials say 18 charter schools will open citywide this September, the highest number of charter schools to open at one time. The schools will serve thousands of children in some of the poorest areas of the Bronx.

However, some feel the public school system is being neglected while charter schools enjoy smaller classes, better teachers and a more difficult curriculum. Mayor Michael Bloomberg argues that success at the charter schools will eventually lead to public school parents demanding higher standards.

Officials say the Bronx leads the city in the charter school movement. Bloomberg hopes to add another 22 schools citywide, bringing the total number to 100 by the fall of 2009.

New Charter Schools Opening in the Bronx:(1) Bronx Academy of Promise Charter Shool1166 River Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452 (2) Bronx Community Charter Schools2348 Webster Avenue, Bronx, NY 10458 (3) Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls Charter SchoolPS 156 - 750 Concourse Village West, Bronx, NY 10451 (4) The Carl C. Icahn Charter School Bronx South PS 146 - 968 Caudwell Avenue, Bronx NY 10456 (5) Green Dot New York Charter SchoolIS 178 - 600 St. Ann's Avenue, Bronx, NY 10455 (6) Mott Haven Academy Charter SchoolPS 43 - 165 Brown Place, Bronx, NY 10454 (7) New York City Charter High School for Architecture, Engineering,and Construction Industries296 East 140th Street, Bronx, NY 10454