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NY Charter Schools and Wage Laws

Court: NY charter schools not subject to wage laws

Associated Press

ALBANY — New York's top court says charter school contracts for construction, renovation, repair and maintenance are not subject to the state labor law requiring payment of prevailing wage rates.

The Court of Appeals rejected the state Labor Department's 2007 opinion that followed an amendment to the law. Charter schools sued, hoping to save money by negotiating less costly contracts.

The court ruled Tuesday that the prevailing wage statute applies to public works contracts, not to state charter school authorizing agreements that determine if a school is fit to be licensed as an educational corporation.

The court was divided 5-2. The dissenters say the alternative charter schools are "in essence" public schools and the wage law should apply.

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