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Bruce Baker, (732) 932-7496, x8232,
Dan Quinn, (517) 203-2940,

Think Twice reviews NYC charter co-location report
Manhattan Institute report provides little useful guidance

EAST LANSING, Mich. (Feb. 20, 2014) – A recent report from the Manhattan Institute examined the potential impact of requiring co-located charter schools to pay rent in NYC. The report reflects concerns of charter advocates and operators regarding potential policy changes under Bill de Blasio, New York's new mayor. A new academic review of the report finds numerous problems with the report's assumptions and with its poorly documented and oversimplified analyses.

Bruce Baker, Rutgers University, reviewed the brief for the Think Twice think tank review project, published by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) with funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

Should Charter Schools Pay Rent? Implications for Staffing and Growth, by Stephen Eide, claims that charging rent to co-located charters in NYC would have triggered an average budget deficit of 10.7 percent at those schools. The report also proposes that paying rent could cripple the co-located charters' growth in NYC.

Professor Baker finds that the report only presents a handful of poorly documented tables and graphs listing potential budget deficits, speculative layoffs, and average proficiency rates of co-located and non-co-located charter schools. However, the report's greatest weakness is in its assumption that there is no possible downside when resources are transferred from city schools to charter schools.

The report assumes that subsidies benefit charter schools and halting these subsidies harms charters and benefits no one.

More importantly, Baker finds that the report ignores the broader and more complex policy questions of what it takes to manage a balanced and equitable system of schooling options.

In conclusion, Baker states: "The Manhattan Institute report provides little useful guidance for New York City with respect to the narrow question of whether the city should charge rent to charter operators."

Find Bruce Baker's review on the Great Lakes Center website:

Find Should Charter Schools Pay Rent?, by Stephen Eide, on the web:

Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), provides the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible with support from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

This review is also found on the NEPC website:

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

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