NYC Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has said he would charge charter schools rent. Charter schools and their supporters strongly oppose such a policy, with some planning a protest in October to voice concerns.
The American Interest blog weighs in on the issue:
Charter supporters object to the change, which they say could force many to shut down or cut back on programs that benefit their students. It’s a particularly potent concern in a city where rents are stratospherically expensive.
From our perspective, we are less concerned with whether charter schools have an unfair advantage over public schools than whether they succeed at offering students a solid education. If allowing charter schools to use mostly-empty buildings free of charge (which is, essentially, the same deal public schools themselves already have) frees up resources that help improve their students’ performance, this is all to the good.