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New analysis: Did charter co-locations cause school overcrowding?

Publication Date: 
Thursday, November 3, 2011

As many NYC public schools adapt to life in full or overcrowded school buildings, charter school co-locations have been targeted for blame. To get beyond warring anecdotes, we took a look at the DOE's latest "Blue Book" data on building utilization across the city.

We found some surprising facts:

  • Judging by utilization rates, co-located school buildings tend to be much less crowded than single-school builings--and by a wide margin.
  • Among buildings with co-located schools, those with charters are on average less crowded than those without.
  • Where charter schools are co-located, the more crowded side usually belongs to the charter school.
  • These differences hold up even if you accept Comptroller John Liu's report about the Blue Book's error rate.

Charter school co-location and school crowding are both important issues. They're also separate issues, as any fair-minded debate should acknowledge.

Download our full report: Unequal Shares: The Surprising Facts about Charter Schools and Overcrowding (.pdf) »