Tuesday, January 14, 2014

NYC Public School Parents: My appearance on MSNBC and Daily News oped: Why de Blasio is right to charge rent to co-located charters:

NYC Public School Parents: My appearance on MSNBC and Daily News oped: Why de Blasio is right to charge rent to co-located charters::

My appearance on MSNBC and Daily News oped: Why de Blasio is right to charge rent to co-located charters:

A  shortened version of the oped below is published in today's Daily News; along with the StudentsFirst opposing view. Also below is my brief appearance Saturday on Melissa Harris-Perry Show  on MSNBC. 
--Leonie Haimson

During his campaign for mayor, Bill de Blasio promised to focus the city’s energy and resources on improving our public schools instead of encouraging the further growth of privately managed charter schools.

The city will spend over $1 billion on nearly 200 charter schools this yearup sharply from $32 million when Mayor Bloomberg took office. Rapid charter expansion has been encouraged by the fact that two thirds of them get free space inside public school buildings. This is highly unusual; only about one eighth of charters nationally receive free public space. Moreover, this appears to violate state law, which holds that if districts choose to offer charters facilities, this shall be “at cost.”

The city’s provision of space to charter schools inside public school buildings has caused much conflict, dissension and overcrowding. Schools have lost classrooms, art rooms, and libraries to charters, as well as dedicated space for students with disabilities to receive their mandated services. Most experts agree that the DOE formula used to assess space is flawed and underestimates the room necessary for a quality education. Even so, nearly half of all co-locations approved last October would push the building above 100% in the next few years, according to the DoE’s own formula.

Valuable rooms would be sacrificed that could be used to provide prekindergarten programs or reduce class size, even as class sizes in the early 

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