Public charter schools serve public school children. Therefore, some NYC charter schools are co-located in public school buildings by the NYC Department of Education (NYC DOE). If the NYC DOE cannot find public space for a charter school, it may become eligible to access rental assistance.

What is Co-Location?

Records show that housing, or co-locating, two or more public schools together in the same building dates back to the nineteenth century in New York City. This is done because NYC DOE buildings are much larger than most of NYC’s public schools. Today, over 1,100 NYC public schools are co-located, that’s 66% of all schools. Of these co-locations, only 10% include charter schools.

Does co-location cause unfair disparities to district schools?

No. City data show that charter schools tend to be located in the more crowded portions of a co-located building. In addition, if a co-located charter school makes building improvements of at least $5,000 in value, the DOE must provide a matching amount to every other school in the same building.


Most co-located schools are district schools*

What is Rental Assistance?

State law now grants some NYC charter schools a statutory right to facilities assistance. Charter schools that open or expand grade levels after June 2014 go through a legally defined process that begins with schools requesting co-located space from the DOE. If the DOE does not have adequate space (1) to offer the school in a public building or private building at no cost, the charter school is entitled to rental assistance. As of the 2019-20 school year, the maximum amount of rental assistance for eligible schools is $4,845 per pupil (representing 30% of the 2019-20 per pupil).

(1 ) Adequate space = “reasonable, appropriate, and comparable and in the community school district to be served by the charter school and otherwise in reasonable proximity.” Education Law Section 2853(3)(e)(1).

Source: 2015 Enrollment, Capacity, & Utilization Report, NYC Department of Education – latest publicly available data.

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