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Charter Advocates Protest Lack of Facilities Funding for New York City

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Charter school advocates in New York City are holding a class outside Tuesday to protest the lack of facilities funding charters receive from the state.

Advocates charge that charters statewide spend $118 million on rent, which they say should be spent in the classroom.

The protest is being organized by the New York City Charter School Center and the Northeast Charter Schools Network in conjunction with the NYC Coalition of Community Schools. Northeast Charter Schools Network also helped file a lawsuit upstate over the funding gap between charter and district schools. 

Facilities for charter schools is an especially charged issue in New York City where a state budget law passed last spring requires the city to either provide buildings or pay rent for new or growing charter schools.

One way to deal with the charter facilities issue is to place charters in the same buildings as regular district schools. Co-locations have been the subject of a public feud between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the founder of the fast-growing charter network Success Academy, Eva Moskowitz. Moskowitz's charter chain, now 30 schools strong, has depended largely on co-locations to expand.

Meanwhile, another group is asking the mayor for a moratorium on any new co-locations, saying the arrangements are constricting already tight resources in district schools. The Campaign for Educational Equity, a research and policy center at Teachers College, Columbia University, sent the letter.

Related: New York Mayor Hints at New Charter School Standards for Co-Locations

Related: New York Families Sue State Over Funding Gap Between Charters and District Schools

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