The Growing Resentment with Space Sharing
The New York Times (Medina, 11/29/2009) reports that some public school parents in New York City protested when charter schools take up more space in public school buildings.
Charters schools are privately run by publicly financed. They are generally nonunion and freed from some additional rules (curriculum or personnel, etc.) applied to public schools. In recent years, charter schools in NYC are getting increasing enrollments with their promise of innovative teaching methods and more flexible work rules for teachers. Finding additional space has been a challenge for charter schools that are eager to expand.
In most states including New York, charter schools receive no money for capital facilities. In NYC, however, Mayor Bloomberg called on additional public support for charter schools’ capital needs. He requested the state Legislature to provide money for charters school facilities, and meanwhile allow charter schools to occupied “underutilized space” in public schools that has not performed well and has seen enrollments shrink.
Public school teachers and parents, however, are upset with the lost of their space, such as libraries, science labs, or art rooms, to charter schools, most of which had fared better financially in many other ways with successfully private fund raising.