Free rent is over for NYC charter schools as de Blasio plans to make them pay

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, January 16, 2014

When Spencer Robertson wanted to open a charter school in 2008, he could count on help from New York Mayor Bloomberg — and it didn't hurt that his billionaire dad was the mayor's golfing pal.

The administration provided space in a Red Hook, Brooklyn, public school and later helped fund a new building.

It's a radically different political climate now for charter school advocates. Mayor de Blasio is no friend of charters and has vowed to charge rent for schools that can afford to pay for space.

"The mayor made it very clear," said Zakiyah Ansari, advocacy director for the Alliance for Quality Education and a member of de Blasio's transition committee. "It's about equity; it's about fairness."

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