De Blasio’s war on charters hurts city kids and taxpayers

Mayor de Blasio’s ongoing cold war against public charter schools is hurting city schoolchildren and city taxpayers.

A new Families for Excellent Schools report shows that Team de Blasio has denied 79 percent of charters’ requests to use available public-school space since the state passed the 2014 facilities-access law.

In those years, the city has OK’d just 22 of charters’ 105 requests — though Department of Education data clearly show the space was available in at least nine out of 10 cases.
Indeed, the state Education Department upheld a full 95 percent of charters’ appeals of those 83 rejections.

Sadly, the law doesn’t let the state order the city to go ahead and provide the space after upholding the appeal. Instead, the city must offer the injured charter rental assistance.

Largely as a result of that, Department of Education spending on charter leases has soared nearly 300 percent in just three years and is set to rise to $40.3 million this school year.

Even with the rent help, a charter and its children still suffer: Finding usable private space isn’t easy (indeed, it may delay a school’s opening by a year), and it usually costs far more than the subsidy.

The mayor’s vendetta thus harms children and wastes money — all to win points with the teachers union, which sees charters as existential threats.

This separate-and-unequal treatment of public charter schools is de Blasio at his very lowest.