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.