Adult charter schools create opportunities in labor force

A common refrain among DC employers is they find it difficult to match an applicant’s skills to the jobs they seek to fill. In the District, there are more than 90,000 functionally illiterate DC residents in need of support. Additionally, the city has 32,000 English language learners and is adding more every month.

Adult public charter schools play an important role in narrowing the gaps in our economy. They serve those without high school diplomas, older students looking to transition careers, English language learners and many more who may otherwise get left behind. Last week, education leaders from other states visited Washington, DC to get a firsthand look at the tremendous progress our city is making in the adult education space. Their goal, to learn about DC’s best practices and brainstorm how the region can better serve the population with the greatest needs.

The DC Public Charter School Board is committed to helping these schools and students succeed. Adult education serves as a bridge toward higher wages and a more stable lifestyle. Last year, DC PCSB released for the first-time its School Quality Reports for our adult education schools. The Reports tier each school and help schools measure their success so they improve the quality of their programs where necessary. Our city is making the investments vital to create a fairer economy and adult education is a major component of this. Adult education schools receive funding similar to the amounts that PK3-12 schools do. This gives them the resources to fully address the needs of the unique student population. The funding ensures that students not only gain the requisite knowledge but allows schools to provide the support needed to complete the programs, be it through child care or career services.

Each DC adult public charter school believes in not only educating students but maintaining enrollment and supporting the transition into the workforce. Moving forward, adult education schools continue to play an essential role in ensuring that everyone has a “fair shot” to a better future.

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