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A Think Twice Review of:

Charter School Funding: Inequity in New York City

Think Twice - Oct 11, 2017

Publisher/Think Tank - UARK Department of Education Reform (EDRE)

Author(s) - Larry D. Maloney and Patrick J. Wolf

A report from the Department of Education Reform (EDRE) at the University of Arkansas claimed that charter schools in NYC were not being fairly funded because of a funding gap favoring district schools. The authors of the report also asserted that certain co-located schools had fiscal advantages over other charters. Unfortunately, an academic review of the report finds it to be dated and of little use for policymakers or researchers.

Reviewer(s) - Clive Belfield, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY)

In his review, Belfield raises some concerns about the report, including: (a) the report does not attempt a rigorous comparison of charters to non-charter schools; (b) it assumes that any differences in student characteristics across charter and district schools were trivial; and (c) it concludes that raw, unadjusted funding amounts were sufficient for assessing fairness. Additionally, Belfield identifies that the data are based on 2014 figures, which fails to capture funding reforms and regulations enacted in NYC charter schools since that time. In response, Belfield writes: “In light of these reforms, this report has been superseded by events.” Belfield finds the report is no longer policy-relevant and that it is unlikely to be very useful for policymakers or the research community.