WSJ Editorial: de Blasio's Attack on Charter Schools

Wall Street Journal // February 13, 2014

Studies have shown that charter schools improve student performance. However, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio seems to be adamant on slowing the progress of charter schools in the city.

According to a Wall Street Journal editorial (subscription required), Mayor de Blasio is implementing several plans that will slow charter school growth including charging them rent for sharing space with district schools:

Mr. de Blasio also intends to punish well-endowed co-located charters like Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy schools by charging rent, which the city's Independent Budget Office says could raise $92 million. Manhattan Institute senior fellow Stephen Eide in a new study finds that a flat rent of $2,400 per student, as recommended by the Independent Budget Office, would have resulted in 71% of charters running deficits and potentially 577 teacher layoffs in 2011.

Even more destructive is the mayor's proposal to base rents on ability to pay. A progressive rent would be a de facto tax on success. High-performing charters raising the most private donations would have to pay the most, which would discourage philanthropy and mean less money for teaching. This is from the same crowd that claims we spend too little on education.