Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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The Call Blog: Angry Over Proposed Changes, Charter School Parents March On City Hall

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A lot of great calls tonight on a very personal topic: schools. Despite the many phone calls we got from pro-charter viewers, the votes on our snap poll weren't in their favor. 73% to 27% said charter schools should pay rent to use public space. Seeing as there is a desire to protect traditional public schools, maybe the answer is to better fund those schools so there won't be a need to open as many charters.

Charter school parents are concerned the next mayor will change Mayor Bloomberg's education policies for the worse. So today, thousands marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall to voice their opposition to proposed changes supported by Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio has said he would charge rent to some charter school operators that now get free space in public school buildings. In addition, he wants to freeze the number of co-locations where traditional public schools share their buildings with charter schools.

Joe Lhota, the Republican mayoral nominee, said today New York City needs more charter schools and "we can't burden them with paying rent." About 70,000 of New York City's 1.1 million public school students attend charter schools. They are funded with tax dollars, but are independently run by private companies.

When it comes to charter schools, do you agree with Bill de Blasio or Joe Lhota? Should charter schools pay rent for using space in public school buildings? Would you like to see the number of charter schools in New York City increase, decrease, or stay the same?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

I'm all for charter schools. There should be a gradual transition from public to charter schools, ultimately shutting down all public, government schools.

Port Richmond

I agree with Bill De Blasio. Charters SHOULD pay rent in public school buildings. Co-located charters take space away from the public school
sharing the space. AND, we are all footing the bill for charters: in 2011 the Independent Budget Office stated that taxpayers are funding charter school students
$1000 more per student than public school students when those charters, such as Success Academy, do not pay rent.

At a time when public schools are facing budget cuts, this is outrageous and unfair.

West Side

Charter Schools should be held to the same rules that public schools are held to - open to all - provide an education to all - and you'll see how the charter schools are inferior to the public schools. If public schools can hand pick their students, they too will have data that shines. Fortunately for the residents of this City, public schools accept everyone - no matter what level their child is on, however little they are capable of doing, etc. No matter the need - we will accommodate them. CHARTER SCHOOLS WON'T! Throw money and resources into the public schools so we can better accommodate those in our charge.

Arden Heights

I would leave everything the way it is now and when the new mayor takes over then
they should already be prepared to implement the new rules for the charter schools.
All the charter schools should be paying rent because this is being run by outsiders.
This is exactly the reason why the catholic schools became extinct.
Some paid and some didn’t and when we were going to school at first years ago no
matter how many children were in the family all they asked for was a fee for the first born.
Then after that everyone paid and if we didn’t have the money we couldn’t go.
Everyone cannot get a free ride. Plus the cost of the upkeep of these charters schools
are very expensive and there are many failures.
So it goes back to square one and the parents/guardians must take more of
an interest in the education of their children.

Meanwhile the candidates should already have a program documented so that they
will be prepared in case they become the new mayor.

Morris Park

Charter schools are simply public schools that are not governed by the Teachers' Union and the DOE. Like other public school students, charter students are from NYC tax-paying families who chose a different public educational option for their children. And like any other NYC public schools, charter schools are entitled to space. Whatever the motive, charging rent and creating moratoriums will cause great harm to inner city children who are thriving in charter schools.

Upper West Side

What is wrong with the voters of this City?

DeBlasio-Wilhelm is in the pockets of the Unions - particularly the teacher's union.

Charter schools are public schools and they work - for a mostly non white student body.

The regular public schools are not working for the children.

How is this even an issue?

Delblasio will destroy all our gains.

Charter schools are a political trick designed to weaken unions and help politicians. They don't improve learning, and they give everyone an excuse to ignore the hell-pits that 95% of students must face daily. Watch, once charters have to abide by the same rules, they'll disappear, because the private companies won't see the profit they want.


Don't let charters tell you they can't pay rent. ALL SUNY approved charter schools submitted budget where they'd pay rent.

In other major cities all charters have to pay rent. Why is nyc the only city where charters don't pay rent. Because king Bloomberg has deemed it so. De Blasio will create a fair system for all schools. Charter schools shouldn't be able to cherry pick the best students and get free rent at the same time. Let them compete with equal populations and pay rent like charters in other cities.


Charter schools should not pay rent. Public schools have under utilized space that charter school uses. The bottom line is that Bill De Blasio needs to focus on all parents and not just public schools parents and the UTF. *Charter parents we have a voice! We have a choice!!

Public charter school results prove that there is a place for that model in New York City. The issue of rent is an issue about a fair playing field. Traditional NY Public Schools do not pay rent. We know what results that model produces. Generally, those results are incredibly poor. Public charter schools should not pay rent either so that they have the same chance to establish more data. We should take a look at the data when we compare traditional public and public charter models, and do what is in the best interest for our children. Bottom line is that I want my daughter to have the best education possible, and having been raised in the NY public school system, and having some knowledge of some of the alternative models available, I would absolutely favor the charter system.


For years and years I have heard thousands of parents, children & teachers' cries of outrage over public school closures, school co-locations and the priority of charter schools over public schools under the Bloomberg Administration. Now there is outrage over charter schools and the possibility of them losing their superior place in New York City along with fees that they are afraid of incurring. Charter Schools are not Public Schools -- as much as the parents of Charter School children want to say that they are -- they are not! Charter Schools have the ability to pick and choose which children they want to teach and which children that they don't want in their school. Public Schools are not afforded this rare opportunity -- they have to accept all children regardless of any disabilities, behavioral problems, and drug & alcohol problems. Therefore the argument that Charter School and Public Schools are equal is bogus.

But now Joe Lhota has a nail to hang his hat on. He can run his whole campaign platform on doubling the amount of Charter Schools in New York City and closing down failing public schools no matter what. Wow -- is this it? What about the amazing performance that Mr. Lhota displayed on the video capturing his speech with the Staten Island Tea Party where he proclaimed that it should be easier to obtain a gun permit in New York? Doesn't this step in the way of his position on stop & frisk? If you want to get guns off the streets why in the world would you ever make it easier to obtain a gun permit even if you claim that only non-criminals would be privy to it? Is tearing down New York's gun laws a priority of Mr. Lhota in his quest for City Hall?

Yes by all means lets elect Joe Lhota as Mayor who is a right-wing republican aligned with the tea party just for the sake of all charter schools!

Upper East Side

Charter schools get less funding per students than traditional public schools.
Charter schools are public schools too!
If charter schools have to pay rent to operate in public school buildings, they should get as much funding as the traditional public schools get per students.
My son went to our zoned public school for one year.
It was a horrible experience. Regular public schools provide very low quality education, but that is not the biggest problem.
The biggest problem is safety.
The teachers' union forced contracts on the department of education, where they do not have to be with their students during lunch and recess. Children are not supervised properly lot of time during their school day, the bullies are thriving.
Our zoned public school on the Upper West Side does not let the students go outside during recess, because the administration does not want to spend the money for recess aid.
These problems are just a small part of the whole problem with regular public schools, who are forced to operate under the Teacher's union's scandalous co tracts!


I am a public school teacher. I am not opposed to charters, however I despise how they have been positioned as a silver bullet to problems in education and used as more fodder to put down us "traditional" public school teachers. I also dislike how they seem to be given all kinds of support while we can't even get the curriculum materials we were forced to accept this year.

I'm curious how charter supporters would feel, however, if the following were to happen:
-- Charters have to give up space to public schools.
-- Charters take ALL kids, not just the ones they hand-pick to showcase better scores.

Of course they should pay rent!!! That money should be used to finally reduce class sizes for the other 95% of NYC public school kids, and not to give windfalls to people like Eva Moskowitz.

Bay Ridge

deBlasio terrifies me. His "tale of two cities" is a way to further separate New York and New Yorkers, by making people afraid of something and telling them whose to blame. This is how you win votes.


No, Charter Schools should NOT pay rent for using public school space,

Bay Ridge

In a perfect world no one would have to pay in order to use the schools space. But unfortunately in this one it cost money to maintain and operate school buildings. Wether it's putting furniture in the rooms, making repairs to facilities or cleaning up after the school students and staff leave. Even public schools have to pay when they stay in the building past certain hours. Simply put the more people in the building the more it costs to operate.

Anonymous public school employee

Students at the new Frank McCourt HS on the Upper West Side are squeezed by the Upper West Side Success Academy which is being allowed to turn into a K-8 school in a campus designed for high schools.

Bloomberg has allowed Success to open in a number of high schools. Why? Because the Ed Reform Movement envisions "cubicle schools" for high schools a decade or so from now, in which high school students will do all of their work on computers, by themselves, in cubicles. There's already one up and running in Arizona.

Morningside Heights

I marched today because we are serious about our right to choose the best public school for our children!

I have 3 children 2 boys in Coney Island Prep Charter School and one daughter who attends a public specialized High School !

I have a tale of two children!

Both children are progressing in two great public schools ! But because my sons attend a Charter his innovative school is in jeopardy !

As Mom and a Voter that's intolerable !




I am not against charter schools, but I am against the preferential way in which they are treated by DOE and by the state. Charter schools can be more autonomous, especially in making policies for their students. District schools are very limited in the ways that they can enforce policy (especially discipline) because the DOE is afraid of lawsuits from parents. I was told that I couldn't even enforce the school uniform policy in my classroom. Also, district schools lose money when they lose enrollment to charter schools. Right now my school has several overcrowded classes because my principal has been accepting any student who wants to enroll so that she doesn't face a budget cut. My colleagues and I all fear co-location in our building with a charter school because we don't want our students to see other kids in the same building with better materials or more access to common facilities. I hope that they playing field will soon be even for charter schools and district schools. Until then, let the charter schools pay rent. It's the least they can do.

Janelle, 4th Grade Teacher
Washington Heights



I need my daughter to go college I love charter school. More,more


I get the sense that not enough money, or focus, has ever existed for the expansion of educational facilities, in New York City, The problems of the 1970's are still with us, regardless of whether or not Bill DeBlasio wins the mayors race. Overcrowded classes and educational standards need to be completely overhauled, in order for a city of this size, and diversity to operate effectively. You can't use the same methods, in order to gain a different result.


Yet again the anti charter callers repeat the mantra that charters pick who they want. This is repeated on your show all the time...they are lotteries....

Carroll Gardens

We need more good schools. All sorts of schools are co-located, this is a facility management turn trend to smaller schools for managent. Lots of schools have lotteries to get in or an admission process. Rent, of coarse not. All schools need to be graded and managed to the benefit children. Charter Mgt gives DOE less to manage and allow then to focus on the 95%.


There are ONE MILLION, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND students in public schools. How could there be enough free room for businesses?


If charter schools have to pay rent to use public schools' building, then charter schools have to get as much funding as DOE operated public schools. Charter schools get less public funding than traditional public schools now.

Upper West Side

I have unique perspective as someone who works in commercial real estate with a foundation in education. Charter schools are FIXING the fractured public school system. Charter schools should be looked at as the new era of public schools--all people seem to concentrate on is how much the administrators make; however, what people are failing to address is how little the educators make and how much harder they work than teachers at "regular" public schools. A teacher at a charter school is held to a higher standard than that of a non-charter school as are the students. While the system for choosing who gets to go to which schools may not be perfect, charter schools are providing our community, our country, our world with BETTER citizens. Students of charter schools are so grateful and the backlash against charter schools is a result of sheer JEALOUSY. Ask a sociologist, ask a psychologist. This discussion is a joke. Charter schools should phase out "regular" public schools.


Please tell me the difference between Charter School and zoning school one you go on a waiting list the other you have to live in the area. I am a concern grand parent.


Charter schools in NYC should pay rent just like charter schools in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

There is no free lunch. The city should not allow private individuals the privilege of educating children free of charge.

What is outrageous is how Eva Moskowitz has politicized this innocuous propoal, and shamelessly manipulated parents and children.


Charter Schools are in fact privately operated and are not subject to the same scrutiny as the public schools. Therefore, they should be required to operate in their own space or pay rent, it they are using any public building of any kind


All Charter Schools should pay rent. If they truly are public schools, then they should not deny any students, especially their zoned students. They should pay rent to the original school, so that the original school can use the money to upgrade their equipment and better educate their children.

As long as the city grants charters it should be ready to provide them with space. Perhaps, preference should be given for those charters who can fund their own space.




As a current student in the public school system, I believe Charter schools should indeed pay rent. The classroom space that they are utilizing are taking away space in which the public school system can use. If the public schools had the space available they would be able to have smaller classrooms which would allow better education for me and my fellow scholars.


No one is denying anyone's right to choose, but they should go build their own brand new buildings/facilities! I say
No to co locations. We should not have to share an already overcrowded public school not to mention gym and cafeteria time , public schools were here first !

My son attends a charter school in the city, I pay taxes in NYC just like other parents and my child's school is entitled to the same resources allotted to every other child receiving a PUBLIC education, including spaces in a public school building especially if it is not being utilize. Instead of demonizing administrators that have been able to improve education they should be emulated so that all kids in the city could benefit from whatever innovations they implemented in their successful programs.


I think that more schools should be built so the charter schools can move into their own space and that way they can accept more new students into their school without the need for lotterys or wait lists .

Do charter school children have to follow the same discipline codes as other school children? Or are they held to a higher level of behavior ?


I believe charter schools should not be charge rent because they are using space that our tax dollars pay for. And since many public high school are failing that space should be utilize for charter schools.
As far as a teachers union, I believe if you need to have someone to protect your position then you are not worth keeping. People who have a union to protect their position become lazy and do not put their full effort and passion in teaching our kids today.

Parent of a charter school student

Studies show that for - profit education does not outperform educationally as the students and parents are not the same populations. They have reputations that do not hold up.
Profiting from public services at the expense if public resources is wrong,


The people that went to the march today had no choice. The principal told them they had to go to keep their kids in the school.

second they do out performed all the other school but is because they only select the best students in the city not the district. They are the only schools that can select school from all the borough not the neighborhood. I have seen friends that are professional or working people get selected and my friends that are on public assistance not accepted. How can you turn down students from the neighborhoods they lived in.

John C

I was shocked at the amount of money charter schools receive in order to operate. They get more money, for the amount of students they serve than the public schools. They get to pick their student populations so that they can guarantee their successes. But their successes are not that much better than most public schools who end up picking up the same children they turn away. In the public school system we educate all children.


I believe charter schools should be responsible for paying rent. Charter schools are not completely public when they are selective in choosing their students. It is contradictory to say these charter schools allow/support "parent choice." I believe that any establishment that is publicly funded should have open admissions for ALL. Why should 95% of tax payers, pay money toward funding an institution that will not accept/admit their children. If charter schools want to run like private schools why should they use our tax dollars to do so? If not privatize then they should pay rent to use public space. Our public schools are overcrowded, things are not fair and balanced. Charter schools were born from Bloomberg's desire to get rid of the UFT. The Bloomberg administration has created, used and funded charter schools with a very political and specific agenda. It is unfortunate that it is the public school children who are paying the price for premeditated politics. Lastly, for those people who oppose charter schools paying rent, they need to relax! These schools have plenty of money to go around and I doubt that having charter schools pay rent will result in any of them shutting down.

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