Taxpayers own public school buildings and they should be available to all public school students, but that’s not the reality. Access to school buildings is one of the biggest obstacles to expanding charter school options. Charter schools rarely have access to taxpayer-funded facilities, even if those facilities are vacant. We should not be spending taxpayer funds on new schools when there are already vacant school buildings.
Land trusts are popular in the affordable housing sector, but are less widely used for charter schools. Using community land trusts, or similar ownership structures, to reduce costs for charter school operators and preserve property for educational uses, is worthy of attention.