City Council members passed a bill on Wednesday that would require the Department of Education to publish demographic and academic information about co-located schools.
The required statistics would include breakdowns of each school by race and ethnicity, English language learners, students with special needs, and students eligible for free or reduced price lunch. According to the legislation, the academic data must include state exam scores.
While the legislation mandates that the department assemble all of this information in one place, none of the statistics go beyond the publicly accessible data normally collected from the city’s public schools.
Council Member Andy King, who wrote the legislation, said it emerged from conversations with parents and educators about the challenges of sharing space. The legislation “allows us to have a conversation,” he said, and could answer the question of “why a school on the third floor might be better than a school on the first floor.”
Co-locations between traditional public schools and charter schools have been a source of tension throughout de Blasio’s term. The mayor’s office sparked controversy when it reversed three Success Academy charter schools’ pending co-locations in February, and City Hall later announced a working group to “foster positive outcomes in future co-locations,” according to a March press release.
The Department of Education has expressed support for the law, as did the charter sector. The legislation “will help ensure oversight and transparency in these schools and allow parents to make informed choices,” New York City Charter School Center CEO James Merriman said.
This data must be submitted to City Council and published on the department’s website by August 30 each year.