New York City is worth watching these days as Mayor Bill de Blasio begins his new “progressive” government. His first priority seems to be a political and economic assault on charter schools.
The number of charters in New York City grew by over 900% under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and they now teach some 70,000 kids out of 1.1 million. Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes has twice found that the city’s charter students do better in reading and math than their counterparts at district schools.
Manhattan Institute senior fellow Stephen Eide on why forcing New York City charter schools to pay rent will impact educational outcomes. Photo credit: Associated Press.
Mr. de Blasio plans to redress this inequity by handicapping charters. His Department of Education has already zeroed out $210 million in funding from its 2015-2019 capital budget for charter construction. The new mayor has also announced a moratorium on co-locations, a policy that allows charters to share facilities with district schools and provides for a more efficient use of space. Twenty-five co-locations approved last year under Mr. Bloomberg may be in jeopardy.
Mr. de Blasio explains that kids in district schools may feel like they’re getting an inferior education if a charter moves in next door and renovates. Charters are public schools that also raise private money, and state law requires the city to match the private funds on district schools that charters spend on upgrades to prevent a disparity. So by killing co-location Mr. de Blasio can also spend less on district schools.