Bill De Blasio / charter schools

What’s up with the uproar over charter schools in NYC? What is Bill de Blasio doing and why? I’m having trouble finding non-outrage-based sources that just tell me what’s going on. Thanks!

GQ: Charter schools had previously been allowed to operate rent free in public school buildings, for FY 14 (maybe 15? I don’t know how their FYs work) de Blasio is rolling it back as much as he can, planning to disallow some new charters being granted, not sign new agreements for free rent etc.

GD: Charters work sometimes and don’t work sometimes, but in the case of the NYC charters they seem to mostly work and give lower income students who excel academically an opportunity to get out of some of New York’s worst public schools and into charter schools (which are really just another type of publicly funded school.) Since charter schools operate in a way the teacher’s unions dislike, they perpetuate lots of myths/lies about them. De Blasio is an old school (i.e. prone to failure and bad government) progressive liberal who has never met a union he disagreed with (regardless of the impact on minority students) and thus is doing all he can to hurt charter schools because his union masters want him to.

The teachers unions try to pain charters as getting a free ride, but charters are really just another type of public school. They should get access to public school infrastructure, and they are not being operated “for profit” but are using government money to educate children.

Moderator Note

This thread is in GQ, and can be answered factually. If you want to discuss other aspects of this topic (like the GD part of that), please take it to the appropriate forum (GD or Pit).

No warning issued, but let’s keep this thread GQ appropriate, please.

The usual concept of charter schools (I assume thi is how NYC works) is that the student carries with them an entitlement for $X. If they enroll in a charter school instead of a public school, then the $X of student costs (Property tax? State tax outlay?) is given to their chosen charter school instead.

the theory is nice - if a school wants to concentrate on, say, music or science - then they can have a purpose school with a focus. The practice is less nice - if the purpose is to escape the “hellhole” of public schools, then the question is - can the charter school pick and choose its students? Not sur with NYC Charter schools; but if a charter school can skim the good students and boot any troublemakers, special needs, or problem children to the public system - no wonder the existing establishment is hostile to them.

note the problem(?) that de Blasio is more sympathetic to the labour union side of things, based on his political leanings. That might explain the tack he’s taking with these schools.

My apologies–I was just trying to flesh out both what it was about and why there was an uproar, the first part can be done purely factually (which I did), I would argue it’s kind of hard to even talk about the second part without making it a GD discussion.

The uproar is about political positions on the debate about education, which is hard to understand without a debate style discussion.

Some of the issue is also co-located schools, where a single building houses Public School 12 and also Charter school ABC. As far as I can tell in those situations , all the costs of running the building (maintenance, bathroom and cleaning supplies, heat) come out of the public school’s budget which frees up the charter school’s funds. I think it would be a very different issue if the charter schools were given free space in an empty public school and paid for janitorial services, heat, electricity etc.

From the Daily News

I’m sure that will go over well if there’s a colocated public school which can’t afford laptops and field trips.

I’m not sure that’s a meaningful distinction. Public money is paying for those things because it’s a public school, the charter school is also a public school. That’s like the courthouse charging the sheriff’s department rent for the court officer’s locker rooms or something located inside the courthouse.

But you know what- that sort of thing happens all the time where one government agency has space in another agency’s building. The courthouse may very well charge the sheriff’s department rent. Hell, one part of my government agency makes office furniture and has a print shop. When my part of the agency orders forms or furniture, money flows from one budget to the other. And that’s the same agency.

The public school's budget is funded for a certain number of students. If the public school has 500 students and the funding is $X per student, it gets $500X. If there are 200 students in the public school and 300 in the charter school, the public school gets $200X . Could you give the public school $200X and an additional amount to cover the overhead for the additional 300 students? Of course, but that's not what currently happens.