New report on egregious cost to the city for charter school facilities

October 22, 2019

Yesterday we released a  new report, entitled Spending by NYC on Charter School Facilities: Diverted Resources, Inequities and Anomalies, revealing how the NYC Department of Education spent more than $377 million on charter school facility costs from FY 2014 to FY 2019.  This amount includes both public funds for facility upgrades for public schools co-located with charter schools, and on leases and rent subsidies for charter schools.  NYC is the only district in the state and indeed the country legally obligated to pay for private space for all new and expanding charter schools, if they are not given space in our already overcrowded public school buildings.

The cost to taxpayers is increasing fast, with more than $100 million spent by the city on charter rent last year. Perhaps our most startling finding is that DOE has spent $15 million since FY 2015 to help eight charter schools lease space in buildings owned by their Charter Management Organization, affiliated foundation or LLC.

We also found that  between FY 2014 and FY 2019, more than $22 million in charter school expenditures for facility upgrades were not matched in the 175 public schools that share their buildings, in apparent contradiction to a state law passed in 2010.  In FY 2019, only one third of co-located public schools received their full complement of matching funds.

The two schools which experienced the largest shortfalls were both District 75 schools that serve seriously disabled students: Mickey Mantle School (M811), located in two sites in Harlem, which lacked $1.5 million in matching funds, and P.S 368 (K368), located  in two sites in Brooklyn, which lacked $1.2 million. All four sites are co-located with different branches of Success Academy Charter schools.  Yet there are schools in nearly every district with co-located charters that suffered shortfalls.

Our full report is posted here, the press release is here, and here is the list of the 175 schools lacking their fair share of matching funds.  Check it out to see if your child’s school is on the list, and if so, reach out to your principal, superintendent or Community Education Council to ask why.  And let us know if your CEC or community group wants a briefing.

Thanks as always,


Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011
phone: 212-529-3539/917-435-9329

Follow on twitter @leoniehaimson

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Categories Newsletters, Reports, Testimonies, Etc. | Tags: | Posted on October 22, 2019

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